Ford Sued for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
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Ford Sued for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Wednesday, July 04, 2018By Nina Shapirshteyn

Complaints about exhaust fumes in Ford Explorer SUVs has led to the filing of a class action lawsuit in New York. The action stems from allegations that Ford knew or should have known that its 2011-2017 Explorer Interceptor vehicles emitted dangerous carbon monoxide fumes into passenger cabins. Reports of carbon monoxide leaks prompted Ford to send technical service bulletins to dealers concerning this issue and initiate a program to repair leaks back in 2017.

Federal Probe of Carbon Monoxide Issues

In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated over 150 reports of exhaust fumes emanating from Ford Explorers. The Agency subsequently expanded its investigation to include Ford Police Interceptors, a Ford Explorer that is modified for police use, following a spate of complaints from policemen around the country regarding carbon monoxide fumes.

Reports of Carbon Monoxide in Police Ford Models Grow

Several police officers have filed lawsuits against the auto manufacturer for carbon monoxide inhalation. In 2015, an officer in Newport Beach, California lost consciousness while operating his Ford Interceptor and veered across two lanes of oncoming traffic and crashed into a tree. The California officer is suing Ford for a defect that contributed to carbon monoxide inhalation. Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas, the police department removed dozens of Interceptors from operation after carbon monoxide detectors in the vehicles indicated high levels of the gas in at least six cases. An officer in Austin reported nearly crashing into another car when he was overwhelmed by carbon monoxide fumes in the cabin. The officer is suing Ford as well.

Class Action Lawsuit is Filed Over Unresolved Police Vehicle Issues

The class action lawsuit now being brought by a New York plaintiff claims that the car manufacturer’s design of its bumpers and tailpipes allowed exhaust fumes to build up in interior and exterior panels. The claim also alleges that faulty rear air extractors and drain valves did not enable the fumes to dissipate outside the passenger cabin. The exhaust fumes became trapped in the panels, joints and seams, resulting in multiple cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. The plaintiff and other officers installed carbon monoxide detectors in their vehicles after the presence of fumes in the cars’ cabins had been reported. The plaintiff was involved in an accident that was allegedly caused by carbon monoxide inhalation as confirmed by the hospital. The manufacturer has failed to correct the problem thus far.

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