A Maryland couple has said Ford has agreed to buy back their Explorer SUV after a News 4 consumer investigation discovered a carbon monoxide leak in the vehicle. According to an NBC Washington news report, Ford sent its engineers to test and repair Mark and Valentina Shedrick’s 2016 Explorer a few weeks ago after a toxicologist found elevated levels of carbon monoxide in the vehicle. Ford said their engineers took it out for an “in-vehicle drive evaluation” and tested for carbon monoxide. The Shedricks said the engineers detected carbon monoxide, but refused to put the results in writing.
No Honest Documentation
When News4 questioned Ford as to why its engineers refused to document the carbon monoxide levels in the vehicle they were simply told that the engineers who investigated the customer’s vehicle “did not generate a written report” but provided the information from their investigation directly to the customer, verbally.”
Ford serviced the Shedricks’ vehicle and took it out for another test drive and this time found that it had consistent carbon monoxide levels near zero. They documented this result that was favorable to them. Car safety experts say automakers tend to adopt this strategy because as long as there is no data, there is no problem. Ford offered to buy back the vehicle after the Shedricks refused to drive the vehicle because they didn’t trust it anymore.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating more than 2,700 complaints from Ford Explorer owners who say fumes or carbon monoxide is leaking into their SUVs and making them sick. A number of police departments have installed carbon monoxide sensors in their after reports of officers getting sick or crashing their vehicles after losing consciousness – an effect of the lethal gas.
While ordinary folks like the Shedricks have reported that their vehicles are leaking the deadly gas, Ford has continued to resist a recall by saying it has not found carbon monoxide levels in non-police Explorers that present a risk to safety. There is currently no federal standard for vehicles for interior cabin air quality, particularly carbon monoxide. In a recent letter to NHTSA, Ford said when it tested several Explorers, it found levels of carbon monoxide well below its own “internal air quality standards.” When News4 questioned Ford about what those standards are Ford’s response was: “There is no standard specifically for vehicle interiors.”
Our auto defect law firm is currently representing police officers and civilians who are experiencing leaking carbon monoxide in Explorers. We urge NHTSA to issue a recall of these dangerous and defective vehicles at the earliest, so tragedies can be averted.