The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into reports and complaints that exhaust gases, potentially including carbon monoxide, can build up on the inside of Ford Motor Co. model year 2011 to 2014 sport utility vehicles. NHTSA said it is aware of complaints involving the recent model year Ford Explorers from drivers who have said they are experiencing exhaust fumes or strange odors in the cabin. Thus far NHTSA has not yet initiated a formal investigation. The agency said in a statement that it “is reviewing all available data and will take appropriate action as warranted.
Angela Sanchez-Knutson, a Florida Ford Explorer driver, filed a proposed class action on June 9 in a Florida federal court. She alleged in her suit that the vehicles have a design flaw that exposed her and potentially other drivers to a serious safety hazard. The complaint says that Sanchez-Knutson and her daughter suffer headaches as a result of their exposure to carbon monoxide while driving a 2013 Ford Explorer.
Ford issued a technical service bulletin in 2012 that said it was aware that some 2011 to 2013 Explorer vehicles may exhibit an exhaust odor when the auxiliary climate control system is on. But it’s claimed in the Florida lawsuit that the automaker’s attempt to correct the problem has failed. There are also a number of complaints listed on the NHTSA website related to the issue. One complaint from June 2 said exhaust gas is getting into the cabin of the driver’s Ford Explorer when the car accelerates in excess of 3,200 to 3,500 rpm.
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