The Center for Auto Safety – a non-profit automotive safety advocacy group – is requesting that Ford Motor Company recall some 1.35-million Ford Explorer utility vehicles over continued concerns that a defect allows exhaust fumes to leak into the cabin. According to the group, 44 complaints have been logged in a federal database regarding fumes possibly entering the cabins of 2011-’17 Ford Explorers after the vehicles had been brought in for dealer repairs.
Ford last October launched a campaign to address complaints of possible exhaust gas leaks in the Ford Explorer’s cabin, informing owners that they could bring their vehicles in to the dealership for a free inspection. Under the program, if any potential leak points are found in the rear lift gate gaskets or drainage valves, those issues will be addressed free-of-charge, and the A/C unit will receive updated programming that flows more fresh air into the cabin.
Ford bills the program as a “piece-of-mind” fix, maintaining that it has not observed cabin carbon monoxide levels out-of-line with “what people are exposed to every day.” The automaker has not issued any fume-related recalls on the current-generation Ford Explorer.
Nonetheless, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continues to investigate the utility vehicle for signs of a potential defect, and the Center for Auto Safety says Ford and NHTSA should enact a recall now, “before tragedy strikes.”
“The continued complaints and corresponding reports of incidents and injuries demonstrate the problem of carbon monoxide exposure inside Ford Explorers has not been resolved,” Center Executive Director Jason Levine said in a statement. He claims that, based on the complaints, the alleged problem appears to have continued into the 2018 model-year Ford Explorer, “suggesting that the issue apparently has not been designed out of the vehicle.”