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Complete History of Ford Carbon Monoxide Auto Defect

Complete History of Ford Carbon Monoxide Auto Defect

Ford released its Ford Explorer model in 1990. Since then, it has become one of the most popular mid-size SUVs on the road.

The Ford Explorer has been the quintessential vehicle for driving kids to school and soccer practice, a teenager’s first car, and the sports enthusiast.

Police departments have made the Ford Explorer their choice vehicle for Sheriff’s, California Highway Patrol, K9 Units, and other specialty law enforcement.

Until a flaw in the design of the Ford Explorer’s exhaust system began allowing poisonous and harmful carbon monoxide gas fumes to seep into the occupant’s cabin.

Ford Carbon Monoxide Resources

Ford Explorers Begins to Silently Poison

In 2012 to 2017 model year Ford Explorers, a design flaw caused a chain reaction of injuries, complaints, and reports of carbon monoxide gas fumes seeping inside the occupant’s cabin, silently poisoning them and their families while they are innocently driving down the road.

Drivers and riders inside the vehicle’s occupant cabin complained about headaches, nausea, and even loss of consciousness. Law enforcement, doctors, and experts could not understand why so many people were experiencing such a high and consistent volume of similar symptoms.

Ford has stated that due to Ford Explorer police interceptor vehicles having emergency flashing lights, strobes, and other after-market police equipment installed, the vehicles that were not adequately sealed were reported to have carbon monoxide issues. They immediately follow that statement by saying that is why regular civilian Ford Explorers have no problems with carbon monoxide at all.

If you or a loved one has been subjected to and injured due to this Ford Explorer Carbon Monoxide Auto Defect, contact an auto defect attorney at Bisnar Chase and receive a free consultation and case evaluation.

For immediate assistance, call 800-561-4887.

Newport Beach Police Officer Narrowly Escapes Death by Carbon Monoxide

Newport Beach police officer Brian McDowell, who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning due to a Ford vehicle defect

Newport Beach police officer Brian McDowell was reporting to a call when he suddenly lost consciousness while driving his Ford Explorer police cruiser. His police cruiser veered to the left and hopped the center boulevard. As he careened through the lanes and narrowly missed oncoming traffic, he jumped the sidewalk and smashed head-on into a tree.

Officer McDowell suffered a traumatic brain injury and has scars from a fractured eye socket, dislocated shoulder, and has no memory of the accident. McDowell had no drugs or alcohol in his system.

Below is an ABC 7 Eyewitness News video on Newport Beach Officer Brian McDowell’s experience with the Ford Explorer Carbon Monoxide Auto Defect. Watch video


Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

Being subjected to carbon monoxide for extended periods of time can result in severe injury and death, even when you don’t know it’s present.

This leaking of carbon monoxide auto defect in the 2012-2017 Ford Explorers usually occurs when the vehicle’s engine is running and the air conditioning is in circulation mode.

It has also been reported when the vehicle is driving and while stopped or parked with the engine idle or running in the park.

One of the most dangerous aspects of carbon monoxide is the fact you can not smell it. It is a poisonous and deadly gas that can saturate the air inside cars, houses, buildings, and anywhere, and you would have no clue that you are slowly being poisoned.

Below is a diagram that shows the signs, symptoms, and possible dangers one can experience when subjected to carbon monoxide.

carbon monoxide poisoning dangers

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, Governmental air-quality limits for exposure to carbon monoxide are intended to keep carboxyhemoglobin levels in non-smokers below 3%.

Carboxyhemoglobin levels of 3% or more can adversely affect high-risk groups such as the elderly, pregnant women, fetuses, infants and patients with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.

Ford Explorer Carbon Monoxide Crash, Injury and Complaint Statistics

Ford Motor CompanyNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and governmental entities have seen a surge of complaints and reports of heavy exhaust odors, lightheadedness, nausea and other factors that most likely are a result of the Ford Explorer carbon monoxide auto defect.

  • So far there have been over 2,700 complaints and warranty claims to Ford
  • Another 800 complaints to the government
  • 3 crashes
  • 41 injuries
  • Over 1.3 Million Ford Explorers recalled

Accidental carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable, and that is exactly what police departments and law enforcement agencies are doing around the country after a second police officer reported carbon monoxide poisoning.

Second Police Officer in Texas Suffers Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Police Cruiser

Texas police office and Ford carbon monoxide poisoning victim Zachary LaHood

In the wake of initial reports, many police departments moved to install hundreds of carbon monoxide detectors in Ford Explorer police interceptors and cruisers to prevent serious accidents. 

However, the city of Austin in Texas went a step further, pulling all 446 Ford Explorers from its police fleet after discovering potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the vehicles over a five month period.

62 workers’ comp reports were filed by officers for exposure to carbon monoxide. 

Of those reports, 20 of the officers had a measurable level of carbon monoxide in their system when they were tested, and three of them were unable to return to work immediately.

According to KXAN, Austin Police Sergeant Zachary LaHood decided to sue Ford Motor Company and Leif Johnson Ford stemming from a carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Essentially, I died from the inside out that night. I just suffocated from the inside out.” LaHood said in a KXAN interview. Another Austin officer filed a similar lawsuit the following year.

Another Officer Posioned While On Duty


Officer Brandy Sickey of Henderson, Louisiana, also blacked out and suffered severe injuries due to carbon monoxide fumes seeping into the cabin of her Ford Explorer police interceptor. 

Officer Sickey was treated for her injuries where doctors tested and confirmed she experienced carbon monoxide poisoning. In fact, doctors said the amount of carbon monoxide Sickey had in her blood was near lethal, and could have killed her.

Officers McDowell, LaHood and Sickey are just three of many police officers now coming forward to tell their stories and experiences of being poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Many of them, like these three officers experienced extreme circumstances, blacking out, crashing in motion and suffering prolonged and permanent injuries and damage.

Images of officer Brandy Sickey courtesy of CBS News

Ford Explorer Carbon Monoxide Cases

Bisnar Chase is representing officers Brian McDowell, Zachary LaHood, and several other police officers who have had similar experiences with the dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning in their cases against Ford and other affiliated entities.

The traumatic experiences and permanent injuries they encountered while driving their Ford Explorer police interceptors on duty, will not be disregarded or unrecognized. Instead, they will be brought to justice and stand as a symbol for the future safety of police officers and civilians who put their trust and faith in these vehicles.

Bisnar Chase is also representing dozens of civilians in Ford Explorer carbon monoxide poisoning claims across the county. Mothers, fathers, children, and loved ones have been injured due to the contamination and poisoning of carbon monoxide fumes inside these Ford Explorer family cars.

These trusting and unsuspecting individuals were unknowingly risking their lives while driving to work, transporting young and vulnerable children to school, picking loved ones up from sports practice, and going grocery shopping on Sundays after church.

The skilled and dedicated Ford Explorer carbon monoxide auto defect lawyers at Bisnar Chase are here to help those who have already been affected by this deadly auto defect.

You, your family, and your loved ones deserve the safety, peace of mind, and satisfaction in knowing your vehicle is not trying to silently kill you. If an auto defect or recall becomes apparent, the automaker or manufacturer should take safety over profit, and step up to fix and make sure you are back on the road safe and sound.

Have more questions? Read through our Frequently Asked Questions about the Ford Explorer carbon monoxide auto defect, and call our skilled attorneys who are currently representing these cases at 800-561-4887.

Are Ford Escapes Endangering Lives with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Dangers Too?

There have been many reports and complaints about heavy odors of exhaust and gas fumes when accelerating and in slow traffic in other Ford models, including the Ford Escape.

Although carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, heavy exhaust fumes can be dangerous and saturated with carbon monoxide.

Ford Escapes are popular vehicles just like the Ford Explorer, especially for families, sports enthusiasts, and the everyday driver who still appreciates the space for transporting more oversized items that can not fit in the back seat of a sedan or coupe.

Drivers of any car, including Ford Explorers or Ford Escapes, are urged to contact a skilled carbon monoxide auto defect lawyer if they have excessive exhaust fumes inside the occupant cabin while the engine is on.

If you have signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, seek medical attention immediately. Getting medical attention is the best way to care for your health and safety, as well as documenting any injuries inflicted as a result of the carbon monoxide auto defect in your vehicle. Having the ability to prove your injuries are the result of an auto defect is the best way to win your case.

Bisnar Chase is Here to Represent You

For more than 45 years, the skilled lawyers at Bisnar Chase have been representing clients, establishing a 99% Success Rate, and winning over $750 Million for their clients.

Currently, Bisnar Chase represents over a dozen civilians and several police officers across the country for the Ford Explorer carbon monoxide auto defect.

Our attorneys prove their dedication, passion, and professionalism, along with their skill, resources, and knowledge, is a winning combo.

We can not allow large corporations like Ford to choose profit over you and your family’s safety and well-being. They won’t get away with it this time because Bisnar Chase is fighting this fight.

If a Ford carbon monoxide auto defect has injured you, please contact our Ford Explorer carbon monoxide auto defect attorneys.

For immediate assistance, give us a call at 800-561-4887.

Carbon Monoxide Injury Attorney

  • Ford Explorer vehicles from 2011 can have a defect, allowing poisonous fumes from the exhaust to enter the cabin where the drivers and passengers are.
  • Newport Beach Police Officer Brian McDowell was driving in his 2014 Ford Explorer Police Cruiser when he lost consciousness due to the overwhelming amount of carbon monoxide in the car. McDowell suffered serious injuries and is bringing a lawsuit against Ford for allowing a defective vehicle to be sold.
  • If you or a loved one have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning inside a Ford vehicle, know your rights and contact our carbon monoxide poisoning attorney today. We may be able to get you the compensation you deserve.

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