Ford Explorers have been the subject of recent headlines indicating a potentially dangerous manufacturing defect causing exhaust fumes, including carbon monoxide gas, to vent into the interior of the vehicle. The exhaust fumes have led to individuals complaining of nausea, headaches and diminished consciousness. Some have even asserted claims that the exhaust fumes have contributed to car crashes. Model year 2011 (the so-called “Fifth Generation” of Ford Explorer) marked a new platform for Ford. Unfortunately, this also marked the first year for the exhaust problems.
Reuters reported on July 28, 2017, that Ford has voluntarily agreed to pay for repairs to police versions of Ford Explorer Interceptor models. Various police departments have been monitoring their officers after some reported signs of poisoning. The city of Austin, Texas has already removed its Explorer fleet from service until further notice.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the cause of thousands of complaints of carbon monoxide poisoning in Ford Explorer cabins. These reports have come from both police departments and individual consumers. The NHTSA’s investigations have not yet lead to a recall of Ford Explorer vehicles. If enough claims are aggregated and an engineering analysis by the NHTSA reveals defective engineering, a recall can most certainly be expected. The recall may affect more than 1,000,000 vehicles.
Ford Motor Co. is already well aware of the exhaust poisoning allegations. The company can be expected to pay out millions of dollars if the additional investigation shows that Ford has manufactured the Explorer in a defective fashion. This has the potential to cost Ford billions of dollars to recall and repair these vehicles as well as settle the claims from affected consumers.
Steps If You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident Involving Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- If you suspect your auto crash was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in a Ford Explorer or other vehicle, please ask the emergency room physician attending to your injuries to draw blood for purposes of obtaining the proof you’ll need to support your case. A carbon monoxide blood test using spectrophotometric measurement in specific blood gas analyzers can determine the amount of hemoglobin that has bonded with carbon monoxide in your blood. Be sure to give an accurate statement of your recent smoking history to your physician as smokers are likely to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood.
- Call the experienced and aggressive attorneys of Washington Law Center for assistance in filing a lawsuit or making a claim against Ford, one of its dealerships, or anyone else that has worked on your Ford Explorer or other affected model car.
- In addition to claims for serious personal injury, those who have been poisoned by their vehicle may have other valuable legal claims which should be investigated. These include Unfair Trade Practices Act claims, warranty claims, diminished value claims and others available under state and federal laws in place to protect consumers.
If you believe you have any of these types of claims, even if you have not suffered a serious personal injury, please contact the attorneys of Washington Law Center for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Ashton Dennis is a litigation and trial attorney at Washington Law Center who specializes in serious personal injury and auto accidents. He has been named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers of Washington State and one of the “Premier 100” trial attorneys by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers in Washington. Click here to learn more about Ashton.