Investigations are ongoing into Ford’s 2014 Explorers as reports continue to raise concerns over exhaust system leaks, which could cause carbon monoxide to enter the vehicle’s cabin. A colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, carbon monoxide is often called “the silent killer” as these properties make the gas hard to detect. There is a serious risk that intruding hazardous gases in the Explorer’s enclosed cabin space could build up to toxic levels and cause occupants carbon monoxide poisoning, including loss of consciousness, while behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened its probe into the Ford Explorer over mounting reports of harmful exhaust odors inside the vehicle’s compartment. NHTSA said it is evaluating preliminary testing that suggests carbon monoxide levels may be elevated in certain driving scenarios. The threat to human life is that carbon monoxide exposure could cause drivers to fall ill behind the wheel, causing harm to themselves and other motorists.
Victims who experienced carbon monoxide odor in their 2014 Ford Explorer reported their complaints to NHTSA:
“While driving approximately 65 mph, the 18-month old child, who was in a safety seat on the rear passenger seat, became unresponsive.”
“During commutes to and from work, typically with stop-and-go conditions at slow speed, I become very sleepy and inattentive, almost to the point of passing out.”
“I drive my ford explorer almost every day and I was becoming progressively fatigued and dizzy.”
“Strong exhaust smell in the cabin of the SUV. Every time the accelerator is pressed for acceleration that is fast, a strong exhaust smell is noticed in the cabin of the SUV. This is the same smell that comes from the exhaust pipes.”
And individual consumers are not the only Ford Explorer drivers fearful of the health risks and harms associated with exposure to deadly carbon monoxide gas. Police agencies have also raised concerns about carbon monoxide gas entering the cabins of Ford Explorers that have been adapted for law enforcement uses. NHTSA’s ongoing investigation found multiple accidents involving police departments, which use the Police Interceptor, a law enforcement version of the Ford Explorer. Departments reported instances of officers losing consciousness, being hospitalized for carbon monoxide exposure, and car crashes.
Owners have reported exhaust odors in instances of acceleration at full throttle, such as climbing a steep hill or merging into traffic on a highway. The use of the air conditioner to recirculate air inside the cabin also led to complaints of exhaust fumes inside the car. NHTSA has also reported that small cracks in the exhaust manifold could cause gas to enter the vehicle’s cabin.
While Ford issued technical service bulletins related to exhaust odor issues, NHTSA says repairs have resulted in little or no improvement.
The Ammons Law Firm is passionate about helping people recover from the aftermath of serious wrongdoing. If you or a loved one is a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from Ford Explorers, you may have a potential claim against the manufacturer. The legal team at The Ammons Law Firm has the resources, experience, and expertise to assist you. Call (866) 523-1603 or click here to send our team of skilled lawyers a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.