The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continues to investigate consumer complaints relating to vehicle exhaust leaking into the cabins of current-generation Ford Explorer SUVs.
A probe into the alleged issue was launched last July, after 154 customer complaints had been filed, relating to Ford Explorer model years 2011 through 2015. Since then, the total number of complaints has ballooned to more than 450, according to CBS News, with some relating to 2016 and 2017 Ford Explorer models – years that weren’t covered in the initial investigation.
Lending some credence to the complaints, Ford has issued two service bulletins for the Ford Explorer’s cabin exhaust fume issue since 2012. The issue seems most likely to occur under hard acceleration, when the air-conditioning system is active and set to re-circulate the air. CBS News reports that Ford agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit in Florida relating to the issue last August. The company is fighting another class-action suit in New Jersey.
“We take the safety of our customers very seriously and will cooperate with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do,” reads a statement from Ford. “In rare circumstances, there have been instances where customers detected an exhaust odor in Explorers. While it poses no safety risk, customers can and are encouraged to contact their local Ford dealer to address any concerns.”