18 comments to “Federal Regulators Open Investigation Amid Reports of Exhaust Fumes Wafting into Ford Explorers”

  1. Driver FM

    This problem is not just found in Ford Explorers! Toxic, unbreathable air emitting from vents when operating the defrost/defogger or AC (even on so-called fresh air, not just recirculated air) is also a problem with my 2017 Fusion, purchased new from a Ford dealer in NJ. They were aware of the problem when selling the vehicle, but attempted to conceal its severity–saying it was only on recirculated air, and would go away with a few thousand miles driving.

    But it never did. Instead, the toxicity of the foul-smelling air got much worse!

    The odor ranges from thick, stale air, to the smell of exhaust, to a burning, rubbery smell–but never the clean, fresh, pristine air that a new car’s vent system should have.

    When operating the air system, I’ve experienced horrible health reactions such as the total sealing of my sinuses, coughing, gagging and light-headedness. The hazardous air makes it impossible to keep the system on, creating the accompanying hazard of windows that get fogged up impeding visibility, or a requirement to keep windows open in some of the worst weather imaginable.

    Ford’s heartless, despicable reaction: It’s my tough luck! My own dealer told me to “Sue Ford!” if I wasn’t happy, as if I had bought a flavor of ice cream I didn’t like, as opposed to a new vehicle blowing air through its vents that is unsafe to breathe. Another dirty part of the deal is that Ford’s warranty for obtaining service to potentially correct this serious defect is meaningless.

    Ford dealers say they won’t get paid sufficiently – if at all – to do the massive overhaul necessary for buy back consideration, or to replace the defective HVAC system outright, if at all possible. So the customer is left by Ford to rot, while Ford continues to manufacture not just Explorers, but also Fusions, with an HVAC/Air System it knows to be severely flawed, and pose danger to the health and well-being of drivers and passengers!

    Ford should rot in hell–and be sued for every cent they have for this horrible behavior!

  2. Anthony Peterson

    When I heard about exhaust leaks in non-modified ford models I thought of the solution I used to fix my leaks. My leaks were at the connector flanges. Heat and vibration is the enemy of an exhaust system. I had reoccurring leaks and inspection failures. Nothing in the aftermarket retail worked to stop reoccurring leaks. I used a C Flange Bracket. No cutting, no welding. Simply install with longer bolts over existing flange or replace damaged flange with this C Flange Bracket and no leak. I passed my inspection using this product. See for yourselves.

  3. steve simmons

    I purchased a 2015 Explorer from a Ford dealer on 7/24/17. It had 18661 miles on it. On 8/8/17 I was in the hospital having just been diagnosed with Carbon Monoxide poisoning. They have my vehicle, I have a loaner. My symptoms went away after the vehicle went away.
    Coincidence – I dont think so
    They are sending an engineer from Detroit to inspect on 8/23.
    stay tuned for more

  4. mike marino

    Stop the payments. If you didnt purchase it outright, stop the payments and let them take the car and park it in their dealership. If 1.3 million do this they will admit and fix the problem.

  5. Charles Kerby

    I too had rotten egg and sulphuric odor in my 2016 Ford Explorer. The dealership acts stupid when you take the car in. The last time I took mine in they just let it sit in the back lot for several days and never touched it while I paid for a rental car. I took a big loss trading it in just to get rid of it. My grandkids were my biggest concern for exposure sitting in the rear. Ford is making a killing on selling these cars so all they have to do is deny a problem exist and nothing will be done. Austin Texas PD is looking at parking 300 of theirs due to the problem. Get rid of it and stop buying them and maybe ford will get the message!

  6. Jay Fleming

    I just dropped my 2017 Ford Explorer Limited at the dealership where I purchased it . I noticed the rotten egg smell 2 weeks after I purchased it. I have owned the vehicle for a total of 30 days ….. they played dumb and said they hadn’t heard of such a thing, but they would check it out…. I said…. “Really!? It’s all over the internet. I have owned 3 Explorers …. although it is pretty to look at, it runs like crap!

  7. Jessica Halk

    Ihave noticed this smell since i bought my 2015 explorer in 2015. But i thought it was just me. I have had to go to the doctor multiple times for sinus problems, headaches, and constant fatigue and now i am scheduled to go to a pulmonologist. I even had a garage foreman tell me he could smell it when he walked by my vehicle while it was running and my door was open. Another woman from arkansas that is a parent at my son’s baseball practice has one too and she had to go to a pulmonologist too. How do i get them to take this explorer back and give me something else. I cant keep putting my kids in this vehicle.

  8. J. Howard

    I have noticed a strong sulfuric smell in the car after hard acceleration. I have a 2016 Police Interceptor model with less than 10,000 miles. I hope Ford fixes this. We have not received a recall notice. But I can’t imagine that this is a good thing.

  9. James Ramey

    All I know is that ford bulliten fixed nothing , car was under warranty at the time and now not and still have the issue .. have keep windows half way down and heat on high or air on high

  10. Tk

    Has anyone considered that maybe the leak is in the engine compartment BEFORE the catalytic converter? I’m a police officer and drive a 2015 Explorer. The leak just started in my vehicle. I’m getting exhaust in the passenger cabin at idle as well while moving. If I pop the hood I can immediately smell exhaust. I’m no scientist or engineer but if exhaust is leaking into the engine compartment before being burned by the catalytic converter, then the co levels will be through the roof.

  11. Katherine

    How do I file a lawsuit or get in on class action suit in CA? I finally realize why my newborn screams in the car but not her grandmother’s. I’m so scared for my children’s long-term health. What can I do?

  12. Sabrina Ramey

    I have a 2015 explore sport loaded out . Every time I have to drive that car headache , sore throat and I have allergies and sensitivity to everything . I’ve contact for Corp last year the sent my car to shop for three weeks for exhaust fumes in cabin of car and bad vibration that eats my tires . Dear swears I have a lemon , all explores are lemons . After picking car up the carbon fumes are even worse than before .. I want my money back . Complaining constant to ford Corp and they don’t care . They got your money

  13. Jordyn Moore

    I had only 5500 mi. on my then newly leased 2014 Explorer. It made myself and my guy so ill that I ended up parking the truck and refused to drive it. The dealership admitted to us there’s a problem and that there’s no way it can be fixed. They gave me written proof of my complaint. I immediately went up the street and traded it in on a Subaru. After 30 yrs of Ford ownership, I will never touch a Ford again. I lost thousands on that truck. I’m one of 154 that filed a complaint at the NHTSA.

  14. Jason DuPre

    I have had this problem with a 2015 Acura MDX. With hard acceleration a bad smell enters the cabin even with AC recirc on. I have to open the vents and Windows to get rid of the smell. Techs at the dealership say they are unable to replicate the issue.

  15. Albert Donnay

    Mr. Mowby should be Mr. Mabey, with my apologies to both.

  16. Albert Donnay

    As a CO toxicologist, I need to correct Mr. Mowby, who is misinformed about the level of hazard posed by CO in modern vehicle exhaust. While catalytic converters when hot and working usually reduce CO in exhaust about 90-95% , the concentration that remains is still 100s of parts per million (ppm). This is higher than ALL recommended and regulated maxCO exposure limits (EPA and ASHRAE 9 ,NIOSH35, OSHA 50 and CPSC 70ppm). For over 50years, Vehicular CO has been and remains the leading source of all CO deaths and poisonings in USA.

    Symptomatic sensitivity to CO also varies over 100x in the population, being lowest among smokers and highest among infants and fetuses. The reason low level CO exposure is particularly pernicious is that humans all make a little CO 24/7 and would be dead without it. While our bodies evolved COHb to trap and safely store high levels of CO exposure in blood, we have no defense against low levels if CO in the range we typically make (under 10ppm). These do not bind quickly to Hemoglobin like high levels but instead diffuse readily through blood into organ tissues where they do much more harm, interfering with oxidative metabolism and causing both mental and physical symptoms.

    This article also should have noted that NHTSA’s investigation #16-008 is NOT into the alleged defect’s cause or fix but ONLY into “any potential driver related safety concerns caused by this issue”

    This is very significant since the Ford class action lawsuits in FL and elsewhere are all only focused on claims of an undisclosed and (to date) irreparable manufacturing defect which are much easier to prove than medical claims. If NHTSA finds and reports evidence of adverse health effects affecting driver safety, this will open the door to much more expensive medical claims–and hopefully emphasize the importance of CO testing the people (and pets) affected, not just their vehicles!

    The good news for victims is that most CO symptoms are treatable and reversible within 3 to 4 months of starting daily therapy.

  17. Matthew Mabey

    An interesting article, but a properly functioning modern car should be producing so little CO as to make the infiltration of exhaust fumes a non-issue. One consequence of this is the fact the small-town dog catchers can no longer use the exhaust from modern, gasoline powered passenger vehicles to euthanize dogs. There just isn’t enough CO in the exhaust. That is probably one reason that Ford is skeptical of the problem. Time will tell, but I’m wondering if the real issue isn’t just some of the sound insulation getting too hot from the exhaust system and giving of smelly fumes. I will stay tuned for more objective facts as follow-up to this preliminary report that is mostly based on lawyers’ bloviating and owners speculative anecdotes.
    Sitting behind a 1960s car in traffic is going to expose someone to much, much more CO than any exhaust infiltration from a properly operating engine of a modern car.
    This all makes me want to rent a CO sensor and do some testing on a variety of cars and locations in urban traffic.

  18. R Gohs

    I told my wife several weeks ago when traveling to Florida on vacation I thought I smell exhuast fumes in the car. Sometimes when you follow a rice rocket to close you can pick up the fume from the car in front of you. Then I heard on the news there was a Federal Investigation being opened on 2011 to 2015 Explorers.I went to my local Ford Dealer they played dumb and they gave me an 800 number to call Ford. When I did that they just played dumb and gave me a case number.

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