The Center for Auto Safety , an organization founded in 1970 “to provide consumers a voice for auto safety and quality in Washington,” is calling on Ford and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a recall of 1.3 million 2011-2017 model year Ford Explorers after reports that carbon monoxide is leaking into the cabins and poisoning vehicle occupants. (Exposure to carbon monoxide, the “silent killer,” kills over 400 people in the United States every year.)
Ford has repsonded to these calls to action by saying that the vehicles are safe, however, they are providing free repairs to seal cabin interiors to reduce the potential for exhaust to enter the vehicle. Despite over six years of complaints filed with NHTSA, Ford, and the Center for Auto Safety regarding elevated levels of carbon monoxide in Ford Explorers, Ford insists that the free repairs are being offered for drivers’ peace of mind, and not because the SUVs are dangerous.
“Why is Ford trying to address a carbon monoxide issue in more than 1.3 million Explorers without recalling the vehicles?” asked Center for Auto Safety Executive Director Jason Levine.
“Instead of a patronizing suggestion that its customers are imagining things, what would actually provide consumers ‘peace of mind’ would be knowing that the interior of their vehicle provides a safe environment for themselves and their family. With something this potentially dangerous, the responsible step is a full recall – and if Ford will not do it, NHTSA should step in.”
NHTSA’s investigation into these complaints is “ongoing.” They have confirmed, however, that Ford’s response does not bring closure to the issue.
Owners of 2011-2017 Ford Explorers who experience exhaust odor or have concerns about CO exposure are encouraged to contact NHTSA at (888)327-4236 or on their website.
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