A proposed class-action lawsuit led by a New York police officer alleges that Ford knew or should have known that its Explorer SUVs emitted exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide into the cabins making the vehicles unsafe to drive. According to a report on Carcomplaints.com, the lawsuit alleges Ford designed the bumpers and tailpipes in these Explorers in a way that allow exhaust fumes to accumulate behind the bumpers and within the interior and exterior panels. Ford also allegedly used faulty rear air extractors, lift gates and drain valves that allow fumes to enter the SUVs.
Officer Poisoned by Fumes
The plaintiff, Peter Lake, claims the sheet metal panels, joints and seams in these SUVs allow exhaust fumes to poison the occupants. Also, parts of the auxiliary air-conditioning systems, the complaint says, are defective and located too close to the driver-side rear air extractors. Lake says he was given a 2016 Ford Explorer cruiser to drive by the Nassau County Police department, which uses 120 Explorer SUVs in all.
Once they started getting complaints of carbon monoxide leaks, the department gave officers carbon monoxide detectors for the SUVs. Lake says the detectors routinely activated and each time the officers reported the incidents to their supervisors. On Feb. 19, Lake got involved in a crash caused by his carbon monoxide poisoning, a report confirmed by a hospital. Lake says he is still driving a 2016 Explorer and remains in danger because Ford has still not fixed the issue.
So far, no recalls have been issued with regard to these vehicles. Ford has maintained that the SUVs are not defective, but that modifications made by law enforcement agencies to install equipment such as lights and sirens are causing the problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the middle of conducting an investigation into these alleged defects.
Our auto defect lawyers are representing both police officers and civilians who have been affected by these dangerous Ford Explorer SUVs. Ford’s argument that its vehicles are fine, doesn’t seem too convincing when you see the number of reports from civilians who own these vehicles with similar complaints about leaking exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide poisoning. We hope a vehicle recall defect is promptly issued before more injuries or fatalities are caused by these vehicles.