If you thought the Ford Explorer carbon monoxide leaks are affecting only police cruisers and police officers, think again. According to a report on Fairwarning.org, the vehicles are making regular folks like you and me sick. The report tells the story of Steve Simmons who bought a 2015 Explorer SUV and began feeling ill. Blood tests indicated that he had carbon monoxide poisoning.
High Levels of CO Poisoning
Over the last five years, auto safety regulators have gotten hundreds of complaints about exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide a lethal gas, wafting into the cabins of Ford Explorer SUVs. But, Ford has shown little to no response and the federal safety agency has been moving at a glacial pace, just this month upgrading its investigation of this matter to “engineering analysis,” which is probably a step away from a full-blown recall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only began looking into the issue last year and has said, disturbingly so, that they’ve uncovered no medical evidence that motorists have been exposed to elevated levels of the gas. Maybe they haven’t seen Simmons’ medical records yet. Simmons, 62, said he became ill less than two weeks after buying his 2015 Explorer. Tests showed he had a carbon monoxide level in his blood of 4.6 percent, a high level for a non-smoker.
Not Limited to Police Vehicles
Ford has tried saying that the issue is limited to police cruisers, but Simmons calls that claim “baloney.” He has complained to NHTSA and his complaint is not unique. The agency already has about 800 notes, some of them angry, from worried Explorer owners dating back to 2012. There have been reports of occupants suffering nausea and vomiting. Many of these victims are young children who are seated in the back, where exhaust enters the vehicle.
It is egregious that neither Ford nor the agency that is tasked with safeguarding consumers has shown a sense of urgency when it comes to investigating this issue. Ford doesn’t even seem have a grasp on the source of this problem. In addition to the NHTSA probe, the issue has also prompted a series of class action lawsuits, which were consolidated and tentatively settled. As far as our auto defect lawyers are concerned, this issue is not over until Ford recalls every last one of these dangerous vehicles, which have injured so many police officers and civilians.