A recent year-long survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration has found that more 1.3 million vehicles are prone to small
cracks in the exhaust manifold that could lead to exhaust leaks that allows
dangerous exhaust fumes to reach the passenger cabin. These leaks expose
vehicle occupants to carbon monoxide gas that could cause serious illnesses
or injuries. To date, 41 injuries have been reported as a result of these
exhaust leaks, and three accidents have been directly connected to the
exhaust leaks causing drivers to experience lapses in ability to drive
due to side effects of exposure to these toxic fumes.
The vehicles in question are from the Explorer model produced by the Ford
Motor Company, with the impacted vehicles all being produced in the model
years between 2011 and 2017. The problem includes all different trims
of the popular mid-size SUV, including those marketed and sold directly
to law enforcement agencies. More than 2,700 total complaints against
Ford have been filed with the NHTSA, and surveys conducted by Consumer
Reports have received multiple complaints about awful smells in the cabin
when revving the engine particularly high.
Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt stated “Safety is our top priority. A dedicated Ford team is working with
police customers, police-equipment installers, Police Advisory Board members,
and NHTSA to investigate reported issues and solve them.” William
Wallace of Consumers Union stated “We’re pleased to see the
NHTSA intensify its investigation. We urge the agency to get to the bottom
of this issue expeditiously.”
While the smells are certainly disturbing, the true issue comes from the
fact that this exhaust contains a high concentration of carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can be
extremely dangerous in high amounts, leading to side effects such as nausea,
vomiting, headaches, and more. Drivers suffering from over-exposure to
carbon monoxide also can lose consciousness in serious cases, resulting
in crashes and possibly even more serious injuries.
While Ford has issued a technical service bulletin to all dealers informing
them of the problem, the American automotive giant has not yet issued
a full recall on the vehicles, and the NHTSA has not mandated one. However,
the survey has been upgraded to an “engineering analysis,”
which is the last step before a recall can be issued.
Have You Been Impacted?
If you have been impacted by this potential manufacturing defect, including
suffering an illness or injury as a result of driving or riding in one
of the affected vehicles and inhaling an unhealthy amount of carbon monoxide,
you do have legal options for compensation. Manufacturers are responsible
for producing products that will be free from inherent flaws that could
present unnecessary health risks to their users during normal operation,
and this mechanical issue is a clear dereliction of this duty.
Duck Law Firm, LLC, we have served as serious advocates and powerful allies for those who
have been injured through no fault of their own. For more than 25 years,
we have provided high-quality counsel and aggressive representation that
places our clients’ needs first and fights to get them the compensation
they deserve if they have been injured. Our goal is to maximize the compensation
that our clients receive from their case, and we never force or encourage
our clients to simply settle for less than we believe their case warrants—we
have your long-term well-being in mind, and we believe our job isn’t
finished until we have helped you reach it.
For more information, call Duck Law Firm, LLC today at (337) 660-2699 to
request a case evaluation and discuss more about product liability claims if you have suffered an
illness or injury as a result of a defective vehicle.