For years Ford has been dodged by allegations of carbon monoxide fumes entering the cabins of SUVs while they are being driven. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated a formal investigation in 2016 after Ford issued multiple but ineffective service bulletins in 2012 and 2014 related to the presence of exhaust fumes. (Neither bulletin noted that carbon monoxide was reported in affected vehicles and instead simply called attention to a possible exhaust odor in the cabin). The NHTSA investigation was subsequently expanded after it became aware of hundreds of new complaints related to exhaust fumes and odors. As of July, 2017, almost 800 complaints were submitted over 2011-2017 civilian and police Ford Explorers.
Now a class action lawsuit has been filed against the automaker for defective exhaust and HVAC systems that have injured drivers and passengers. The faulty systems have caused the car’s occupants to inhale carbon monoxide fumes according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit, which covers all U.S. consumers who bought or leased 2016-2017 Ford Explorers, alleges that Ford deliberately concealed its knowledge of the possibility of carbon monoxide when it became aware of exhaust fumes entering the passenger cabins. The plaintiffs point to the technical service bulletins as evidence that the automaker had knowledge of the threat of carbon dioxide in the vehicles.
The claims allege that carbon monoxide can seep into the cabins through a number of areas including the bumper, tailpipes, rear air extractors, air conditioning systems, drain valves in the liftgates, and the joints and seems. The bulletins issued by Ford suggested several types of repairs, such as reprogramming the air system and inspecting and installing new drain valves, but none of these addressed the complaint.
In response to the lawsuit, Ford claims that the vehicles are safe and the plaintiff’s complaints are chiefly related to design defects which are not covered by the warranty. The court, however, denied Ford’s motion to dismiss the case citing that it is uncertain what caused the carbon monoxide fumes and that owners were not placed on notice about this danger prior to purchasing their vehicles. The court concluded that the plaintiffs can now proceed with their claims.
If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.