A recent exposé by CBS News has revealed the increasing likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning in Ford Explorer SUVs. The report included several drivers of the SUV admitting to feeling nauseated and dizzy while driving their Ford Explorer and the main suspect for this condition is the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The report included a mention of the case of Tom Finley of New Jersey, who has stated that his 2016 Ford Explorer reeked of exhaust odor and sulfur. In fact, Finley compared the smell to rotten eggs. He started to get headaches and feel drowsy while driving shortly after buying the SUV.
Finley is not the only driver of a Ford Explorer SUV with similar accounts. Several others have come forward reporting similar experiences. Another New Jersey resident named Theresa Thurston claims to feel “sick to her stomach” while driving, and she also feels sleepy and gets headaches when they’re behind the wheel. Thurston has stated that she is anxious these symptoms can lead to a serious accident.
The NHTSA Investigation
The investigation is still ongoing, and now it has also included the Explorers from 2016 and 2017. The current NHTSA has reached the engineering analysis stage, which is typically the step right before a product recall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of similar complaints is not limited to a mere handful. In fact, the agency has received similar complaints numbering in the thousands, and they have come from all over the US. The agency started its investigation in 2016 with a focus on the Explorer models from 2011 to 2015.
Owner Reaction to the Accidents
So far, the investigation has not yet released any conclusions. Some Ford Explorer owners have not waited and have played it safe by installing carbon monoxide detectors inside their SUVs.
This particular problem has affected not just regular drivers, by police officers as well. Numerous police agencies use Explorers as police cruisers, and even police officers have been affected by the same symptoms. Some law enforcement officials who have driven these Ford Explorers have either replaced their vehicles or have installed carbon monoxide detectors inside their SUVs.
Several of these affected law enforcement officials have filed suits, and they include a Newport Beach police officer who crashed his vehicle after suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning while driving his Explorer cruiser. As a result of the crash, the policed officer suffered injuries so severe that he was unable to get back to work for several months.
Is a recall imminent to avoid personal injury claims?
Ford has not yet voluntarily recalled their Ford Explorer SUVs, despite the rising number of complaints. Initially, the carmaker’s official position was that only police cruisers were affected, and this was due to the installation of police equipment such as lights, sirens, and other special modification. After the number of complaints from civilians grew too high to be ignored, Ford started to fix the vehicles when the drivers came in for repairs. But Ford has not yet issued a recall.
If you own a Ford Explorer, you should take steps to make sure that this potential problem does not happen. Take your vehicle to a Ford dealership for repairs, and see if you can install a carbon monoxide detector as well. Don’t drive if you feel dizzy whenever you are behind the wheel. If you do get into an accident while driving your Ford Explorer, consult with a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience with similar car accident cases.