Hundreds of consumer complaints sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claim one of America’s most popular SUVs has a major design flaw. According to complaints, the Ford Explorer leaks carbon monoxide while motorists are driving. One case publicized by a CBS News article shows the defect is capable of causing serious or fatal injuries.
The article describes the case of a Newport Beach officer who blacked out and crashed his Ford Explorer police cruiser into a tree. Following the crash, doctors could not discover why the officer had blacked out. He had no alcohol or drugs in his system, and no preexisting medical conditions that would have caused the incident. Months later, the officer came across other complaints involving carbon monoxide leaking into the cabin of Ford Explorers.
NHTSA launched an investigation into the issue last summer after receiving 154 complaints from Ford Explorer owners. Consumers have filed another 300 complaints since the start of NHTSA’s investigation. Some Ford Explorer owners have expressed concerns over passing out behind the wheel (as the officer did) or long term damage caused by carbon monoxide exposure. The Newport Beach Police Department now uses portable carbon monoxide detectors in its Ford Explorer cruisers. According to the department, the detectors have gone off multiple times.
Ford claims the issue occurs during acceleration while the air conditioner is activated and running in circulation mode. The design flaw could affect Ford Explorer model years 2011 through 2017.
Should Consumers Harmed by Vehicle Defects File Lawsuits?
Two class action lawsuits have been filed against Ford by other people who have suffered injuries from this defect. Ford denies any wrongdoing.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by defective auto parts, you may benefit by discussing legal options with one of the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Keefe Law Firm. Damages from a lawsuit can help pay for medical bills, lost income and other short and long-term expenses.