A new Bloomberg analysis has found that so far, at least 3,000 Ford Explorer owners have complained to the automaker or to federal regulators about carbon monoxide leaks in their vehicles that are making them sick. According to news reports, the customer complaints include vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2018 potentially covering more than a million SUVs. Customers claim the leaks occur irregularly making them challenging to track or replicate. But they say it leaves them with dizziness, nausea, burning eyes and pounding headaches.
No Recall Yet
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating the matter, Ford has yet to issue a recall or even admit that there’s a problem with these vehicles. The automaker has insisted that these SUVs are safe and that any problems are being resolved by a free repair, which was offered at dealerships through the end of 2018. Ford spokespersons told Bloomberg that all of their testing so far has indicated that these vehicles are safe and that these investigations have not found carbon monoxide levels in the vehicles to exceed what people are normally exposed to on a daily basis.
Explorers are among the most popular SUVs on the road and if a recall were issued, it could potentially affect more than one million vehicles and costs Ford hundreds of millions of dollars. NHTSA launched its probe into this issue in 2016, but has not come up with a determination yet.
Police Officers and Civilians Affected
The Bloomberg article features Brian Chase, senior partner at the Newport Beach personal injury law firm of Bisnar Chase, which is representing several victims of these defective Ford Explorer SUVs. One of our clients, also featured in the Bloomberg article, is Brian McDowell, a Newport Beach police officer who became nauseous and passed out at the wheel of his Ford Explorer police cruiser due to a carbon monoxide leak.
His Explorer drifted into the oncoming lane and he narrowly missed a head-on collision before crashing into a tree. His injuries forced him to retire and Bisnar Chase filed a lawsuit on his behalf against Ford over this incident. As Chase told Bloomberg News: “It’s an Explorer defect issue, period.”
Many other civilians have also complained about their SUVs spewing deadly gas into the vehicle cabins making them ill. Ford needs to take action before lives are lost and more individuals are seriously injured. This auto defect is seriously impacting lives. Ford and NHTSA need to action – now.