Ford Motor Company is trying to come up with explanations for carbon monoxide seeping into the Police Interceptor model of the Explorer SUV. Among those who have been affected by these vehicles was Brandy Sickey, a police officer in Henderson, Nevada, who blacked out behind the wheel of her Ford Explorer cruiser in April, and crashed. Sickey was diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning and tests showed she had potentially dangerous levels of the gas in her blood even more than two hours later. She is one of many police officers nationwide who have file product liability lawsuits against the automaker.
In spite of reports such as these and the fact that these carbon monoxide leaks in Ford Explorer SUVs have caused multiple crashes and 41 injuries, federal regulators said last month that there is “no actual evidence” that these incidents were the result of carbon monoxide poisoning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has however elevated its investigation to the “engineering analysis” stage.
Ford recently released new images, which may explain how the gas is seeping into police Explorers. The photos showed unsealed holes near the muffler and rear of the cruisers. These holes, Ford said, were made after purchase to install emergency equipment such as lights. But at the same time Ford is also investigating cracked manifolds in police Explorers. Manifolds are that part of the vehicle that carry exhaust away from the engine. But Ford does not believe that’s the problem.
Problem Not Limited to Cruisers
Ford’s explanation that the leaks are due to unsealed holes that were drilled to install emergency equipment doesn’t pass muster because there have been cases where carbon monoxide leaks have been found in civilian vehicles. Our law firm is representing several of these vehicle owners – police officers and civilians – who have been affected by this dangerous auto defect. There is no question that Ford needs to get to the bottom of this problem soon before lives are lost as a result of these dangerous vehicles.
If you own one of these vehicles, our recommendation would be to get it tested for carbon monoxide leaks. It may be a good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector in your vehicle. The warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle. But the condition is a life-threatening medical emergency. People may suffer irreversible brain damage or even be killed before anyone realizes there’s a problem. Some of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning may include dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, confusion, blurred vision, loss of consciousness, and shortness of breath.
If you have been injured as a result of these or other auto defects, it is important that you contact an experienced auto defect attorney who will help you secure maximum compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.