NHTSA | No Ford Explorer Recall Needed


Ford Explorer | Image by Puririy

After a six-year investigation into exhaust odors in Ford Explorer passenger cabins, the U.S. government road safety agency has determined that the SUVs in question do not contain high levels of carbon monoxide and do not need to be recalled. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reviewed more than 6,500 consumer complaints. It tested the SUVs in the field, utilizing experts in automotive, medical, environmental health, and occupational safety before making its decision, according to WFAA.

The investigation covered 1.47 million Explorers from 2011 to 2017 model years and involved three deaths and 657 alleged injuries.

Some complaints included drivers being overwhelmed by exhaust fumes and loss of consciousness. Many complaints also came from police departments that used Explorer Police Interceptor SUVs as patrol vehicles. 

In 2017, the City of Austin temporarily removed all 400 of its Ford Explorer SUVs from use, but all were returned to service after receiving Field Service Action repairs related to heating and cooling reprogramming, according to Reuters.

The NHTSA said in documents released Monday that it used precise test methods to send exhaust gas into vehicles.

The NHTSA found that sealing issues due to installing sirens, lights, cages, and other items generally performed by governmental fleet operations, known as up-fitting, were causing the highest measured carbon monoxide levels in the Interceptor Explorer vehicles tested. The sealing issues were attributed to holes that were drilled into the vehicle body as part of the conversion process.

In 2017, Ford agreed to cover the cost of sealing holes in Explorer Police Interceptor models that had been up-fitted aftermarket. No vehicles with bodies sealed under Ford’s 2017 field service campaign contained carbon monoxide levels higher than Environmental Protection Agency limits, according to WFAA. 

The highest carbon monoxide levels found in consumer Ford Explorers were generally traced to sealing issues caused when the vehicles suffered rear crash damage, the NHTSA said

The agency said that even without Ford’s Field Service Action repairs related to the heating and cooling system, vehicles that did not suffer crash damage or have equipment installed did not have carbon monoxide levels above acceptable standards.

“Therefore, the agency has not identified a defect that represents an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety,” the NHTSA said. 

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12 days ago

EXCEPT, they needed to place a recall for ALL vehicles that had suffered rear end damage and had repairs. If the repair facility had no knowledge of the exhaust leak due to rear end damage there will be problems.