As one of the largest auto manufacturers in the world, it is crucial that auto safety be one of Ford’s most important priorities. In an ideal world, protecting consumers from the risks posed by defective vehicle parts should be Ford’s primary goal. However, according to the Center for Auto Safety, this is a goal that Ford is falling short of, putting countless Ford owners at risk.
If you or someone you love own a Ford vehicle, it’s important that you read on to learn more about the risks that the Center for Auto Safety has uncovered as well as to learn more about the options you have to keep yourself safe and protect your rights.
Exhaust Issues with the Ford Explorer
Recently, the Center for Auto Safety called on Ford to recall 1.35 million Ford Explorer SUVs due to defective vehicle parts within the vehicle’s’ exhaust system. These defective vehicle parts create the potential for dangerous fumes such as carbon monoxide to leak into the cabin of the vehicle, and, in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported a total of 154 customer complaints regarding exhaust issues with the Ford Explorer. By 2017, CBS News had reported a total of 2,700 customer complaints.
The exact models reportedly demonstrating the issue include the 2011-2015 Ford Explorer, though CBS News has reported that some 2016-2017 Ford Explorer owners have reported complaints as well.
The Danger of Exhaust Issues with the Ford Explorer
Defective vehicle parts leading to exhaust issues with the Ford Explorer is an issue that must be taken seriously. Since carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas, it is virtually impossible to detect whether or not it is leaking into the cabin before it’s too late. If a driver inhales too much carbon monoxide, though, they may lose consciousness, causing them to wreck their vehicle.
This is reportedly what happened to Newport Beach police officer Brian McDowell, who was driving a 2014 Ford Explorer when he passed out behind the wheel. After losing consciousness, McDowell veered off the road and crashed his vehicle into a tree. The impact caused McDowell to sustain a number of serious injuries, including a fractured eye socket, a dislocated shoulder, and traumatic brain injury. After learning that other Ford Explorer owners had experienced issues with their vehicle’s exhaust system, McDowell concluded that it was leaking exhaust from his vehicle that had caused him to pass out and consequently wreck. Later, he went on to file a lawsuit against Ford for failing to properly protect consumers from the issue.
Reportedly, exhaust from the Ford Explorer is most likely to leak into the cabin when the vehicle is accelerating and the air conditioner is running. This creates a serious risk for a driver to experience an accident due to loss of awareness caused by the fumes. Since carbon monoxide can be lethal in its own right, the seriousness of this issue is compounded even further. In addition to accidents caused from a loss of consciousness, customers have also reported complaints due to exposure to the exhaust fumes that include symptoms such as nausea, headaches, sleepiness, and flu-like symptoms. Some complaints have even reported that small children have been affected by the fumes. In light of how dangerous the defective vehicle parts in the Ford Explorer are, Ford’s response to the reports has been far less than adequate.
Ford’s Unsatisfactory Response To The Ford Explorer’s Auto Safety Concerns
In spite of increasing calls for Ford to recall the affected Ford Explorers, Ford has refused to issue any recalls on the vehicles. Ford has continued to insist that the vehicles are safe and that they were able to find no issues with the exhaust system, saying that they had not “found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to everyday.”
Ford did agree to offer “complimentary service” that would supposedly reduce the risk of exhaust entering the cabin of the vehicle. However, the Center for Auto Safety is pressing for the automotive manufacturer to do more. A full recall of the affected vehicles would both alert more owners to the problem as well as provide a more comprehensive solution to the issue. So far, though, this is a course of action that Ford has been unwilling to pursue.
What to do if You are Affected by Defective Vehicle Parts in the Ford Explorer
Defective vehicle parts creating the potential for dangerous fumes to leak into the cabin of the Ford Explorer is a serious issue that deserves far more attention than Ford has given it. There’s hope that mounting pressure from the Center for Auto Safety as well as from Ford Explorer owners will eventually encourage the automotive manufacturer to take the issue more seriously, but, for now, the complaints seem to be falling on deaf ears.
At GOM LAW, we are deeply concerned for the safety of Ford Explorer owners and are equally concerned by the inadequate response that Ford has given. If you or any of your loved ones have been injured while driving this Ford Explorer and want to learn more about your rights, please contact GOM LAW in McAllen, TX today.