Keyless Cars Continue to Pose Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The Newport Beach auto defect law firm of Bisnar Chase has filed a lawsuit against Ford on behalf of an Austin police officer Ryan Hancock who suffered damage to his nervous system as a result of carbon monoxide leaking into his police cruiser. The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages for medical bills, lost income and future earnings, alleges that the Ford Explorer SUV’s defective exhaust system led to the officer’s carbon monoxide poisoning and subsequent damage to his nervous system. This is at least the second filed by an Austin police officer, which alleges that Ford knew about these problems with its vehicles, but failed to fix them and alert the public.
“It’s Important to Get the Word Out”
Brian Chase, senior partner at Bisnar Chase, tells the Austin American Statesman that his law firm is suing Ford on behalf of Officer Hancock and his wife because the automaker designed, manufactured and sold a defective product to consumers. “It’s important to get the word out that these Ford Explorers have a problem leaking carbon monoxide and Ford hasn’t been able to fix it,” he said.
Chase also mentioned that the Austin police cases are just two of the roughly 30 cases he has across the country stemming from Ford Explorer defects involving carbon monoxide poisoning. In July, the Austin Police Department parked its nearly 400 Explorer cruisers for emergency inspections after several officers were exposed to the lethal gas. Just over four days in July, at least five police officers were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Ford Makes Excuses
Ford has continually maintained that the leaks in the police vehicles have been caused by modifications ordered by police departments to get the SUVs ready to law enforcement duty. But the problem has been plaguing civilian vehicles where these modifications were not made as well. So, Ford’s argument really doesn’t pass the smell test. Between 2011 and 2015, 154 people across the country reported their Explorer to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), largely complaining about problems with the exhaust system.
NHTSA is in the middle of a full-fledged probe into this problem with Ford SUVs and Consumer Reports this week has urged Ford to step up to the plate and issue a formal recall instead of service programs, which may not reach all consumers. We agree. Ford should publicize this dangerous defect, which has the potential to seriously injure or even kill people. Ford needs to recall the vehicles in an aggressive campaign and repair the vehicles at no cost to consumers (as required by the law). This is a necessary step to safeguard consumers and prevent people from getting sick or seriously injured.