Ford Explorer owners in California and across the country have complained of serious issues with their SUVs, especially related to the release of carbon monoxide gas. Over 3,000 owners of the vehicles have complained to the manufacturer or to federal regulators about exposure to exhaust fumes inside the body of the popular vehicles. Carbon monoxide gas can cause serious illness or even death, and some owners say that Ford has not done enough to make sure that the SUVs are safe. As a result, over 50 lawsuits have been filed nationwide.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating claims about defective vehicles in 2016, including complaints about carbon monoxide exposure in Explorers built between 2010 and 2018. The federal agency said that it had found preliminary evidence that some drivers had been exposed to carbon monoxide while operating their Ford vehicles. If NHTSA eventually finds a safety defect, Ford could be forced to recall over 1 million Explorers.
It can be difficult to quantify the likelihood of exposure to carbon monoxide; many doctors and hospitals do not test for the substance unless it is specifically requested. In addition, the gas is colorless and odorless, and people may not know that their symptoms could be attributed to exposure to the substance. No one really knows how much cabin exposure to carbon monoxide can affect a person's health, and the gas can have different levels of effects on people depending on their age and condition.
Some owners have sought a solution to their ongoing issue by suing Ford under the federal lemon law or related state legislation. These demands may force the manufacturer to buy back or repair the vehicles. People who are facing a defective vehicle that cannot be repaired might also turn to a lemon law attorney for assistance in seeking compensation and accountability.
Source: Bloomberg, "Ford Explorer Owners Say Their SUVs Are Making Them Sick", Ryan Beene, 03/20/2019