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Ford Focuses on Explorer Fumes Fix

Posted on November 20, 2017

The Ford Motor Company says its Explorer is safe but consumers complain the car cabins are filling with dangerous gasses.

An estimated 2,000 motorists have complained to the Number 2 automaker that they smell exhaust in their cabins, including dangerous carbon monoxide.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also received reports of Explorer drivers and the vehicle occupants “smelling exhaust odors in the occupant compartment. Complainants expressed concerns about exposure to carbon monoxide.” Complainants cite nausea, headaches, or light headedness. Crashes and injuries have resulted. Even police fleet vehicle occupants have complained of odors.

So Ford is coming up with a fix. This November, the automaker will provide a free service program for 2011 to 2017 models, largely to provide “peace of mind,” as Ford says online, however the feds are not passing this off as an inconvenience.

NHTSA is investigating the Explorer issue and told FairWarning in a written statement that the fix will not “bring closure to this issue.”

The Center for Auto Safety says the government should conduct a full recall of more than 1.3 million Ford Explorers that fall within that time period.

In a written statement, the Center’s Jason Levine said, “Instead of a patronizing suggestion that its customers are imagining things, what would actually provide consumers ‘peace of mind’ would be knowing the interior of their vehicle provides a safe environment for themselves and their family.”

Levine believes a recall sends a stronger message of safety to Explorer owners and their passengers. Without a recall, an owner may not take in their vehicle, exposing them to the possibility of becoming overcome by fumes.

Ford is giving consumers until December 2018 to bring in their Explorers for a fix even though the company says it has not found carbon monoxide levels in the cabin that exceeds a normal daily exposure.

What then will be done? A dealership can inspect seals, replace lift gate drain valves, and reprogram air conditioners.

There are 1.3 million vehicles in question in the U.S., and another 84,000 vehicles in Canada and 24,000 in Mexico. The Ford reference number for this service is 17NO3.

Anyone who believes their Ford Explorer has this problem should call NHTSA at (888) 327-4236.