Categories: Automobile Safety

This week the Center for Auto Safety demanded a full recall for all Ford Explorers SUVs made between 2011 and 2017 for carbon monoxide safety concerns. The Center for Auto Safety is one of the nation’s leading independent non-profit organization providing consumers with a voice for auto safety, quality and fuel economy. The Center’s press release states:

“Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposure, which kills more than 400 people per year in the United States, is known as the silent killer because it contains no odor and presents as flu-like symptoms.  While Ford has said these vehicles are “safe,” there have been thousands of consumer complaints made to NHTSA, Ford, and the Center for Auto Safety, regarding elevated levels of CO. Still, Ford has chosen not to issue a recall.

“Why is Ford trying to address a Carbon Monoxide issue in more than 1.3 million Explorers without recalling the vehicles? Instead of a patronizing suggestion that its customers are imagining things, what would actually provide consumers ‘peace of mind’ would be knowing that the interior of their vehicle provides a safe environment for themselves and their family.  With something this potentially dangerous, the responsible step is a full recall – and if Ford will not do it, NHTSA should step in,” said Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety.

This is not the first time Ford has taken the route of a repair program instead of a recall when CO was involved. Last year when police Interceptors had CO leaking into the cabin of their vehicles, putting our first responders at risk, Ford chose not to recall the vehicles and has suggested the problem was created by local police departments.

Consumers and independent researchers have been trying to get Ford to address the issue of dangerous levels of CO in Explorers for several years now.  Unfortunately, Ford has continued to undertake limited repair programs, via Technical Service Bulletins which only provided repairs for consumers who happened to come in to the Ford dealership.   Mr. Levine noted, “raised levels of CO can be deadly and consumers should not have to purchase a personal CO detector at their own expense to determine if they or their children are being exposed to dangerous levels of CO inside their vehicle when they accelerate or decelerate.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating more than 2,700 complaints about possible carbon monoxide in Explorers, including reports of 41 injuries and three accidents that may also be linked.

Across the country, a version of the SUV created especially for police departments has already been taken off the road. In July, police in Austin, Texas, parked more than 400 Explorers after nearly two dozen officers were found to have high levels of carbon monoxide in their blood.

Borgess Law, LLC advocates for motor vehicle safety and provides experienced legal representation for motor vehicle accident victims and their families throughout Ohio.  For information about Ohio’s motor vehicle laws or if you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, feel free to contact Borgess Law, LLC at (567) 455-5955. You can also contact Borgess Law, LLC by submitting an online inquiry. Borgess Law never charges a fee for an initial consultation.