NHTSA investigates concerns of carbon monoxide issues in Ford Explorer

NHTSA investigates concerns of carbon monoxide issues in Ford Explorer


What started as varied complaints on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site has snowballed into an ever expanding probe into Ford's 2011-2017 Explorer model ( F ), as consumers report risky exhaust fumes being present in the passenger cabin. In the last five months, Austin police officers 62 workers' comp reports have been filed for carbon monoxide exposure.

Last week Ford indicated that the issue is believed to be largely confined to Explorer Police Interceptor vehicles, nearly all of which have holes drilled through various parts of the SUV for equipment mounts, pointing to possible points of intrusion for exhaust fumes.

Friday evening, Ford Motor Company said it will cover the cost of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor with a leak concern, regardless of age, mileage or after-market modifications made.

Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said in February, the office bought 10 carbon monoxide detectors and is continuing to rotate them among 30 Ford Explorers.

At least two area law enforcement agencies have installed carbon monoxide detectors in some of their vehicles after reports of a defect that allows exhaust fumes to leak into the cabin. Ford has also launched its own investigation into the matter and already has discovered holes and unsealed spaces in the back of some Police Interceptor Utility vehicles that had police equipment installed after leaving the factory.

Scott said Ford's regional sales manager said the manufacturer will inspect the town's vehicles if they are concerned about any problem.

Investigators will evaluate the cause, frequency and safety consequences of the cracks, and whether Explorers used by civilians are experiencing cracked manifolds, the agency said. "We have not found elevated levels of carbon monoxide in regular Ford Explorers". "If the holes are not properly sealed, it creates an opening where exhaust could enter the cabin".

The 446 Explorers make up a large majority of the department's fleet. Among the complaints were three crashes and 41 injuries, mostly loss of consciousness, nausea and headaches. If a vehicle has such an odor, customers should bring it to a Ford dealer to address that issue. "Customers with concerns about Explorers and Police Interceptor Utilities can call our dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575 or visit their local Ford dealership". Any Ford Explorer made between 2011 and 2017 could have this issue. Check for engine codes that could indicate a damaged exhaust manifold.

  • Terrell Bush