There has been a talk of this for a while now. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is upgrading and expanding a probe into 1.33 million Ford Explorer SUVs over reports of exhaust odors in vehicle compartments and exposure to carbon monoxide that may have something to do with crashes and injuries. Let’s go deeper into the Ford issue with exhaust odors and see the whole picture.
On a Thursday an auto safety agency said, that it was aware of more than 2,700 complaints and three crashes that may have something to do with the exposure to carbon monoxide and 41 injuries among police and civilian vehicles in the probe covering 2011-2017 model year Ford Explorer SUVs. So we know Ford has an issue with odor. Let’s see what others think of this.
NHTSA said that Ford has issued a couple of technical service bulletins. Those had something to do with the exhaust odor issue. The bulletins were for addressing complaints from police fleets and other owners. And what is Ford doing? It said in a statement a dedicated company team is working with police, NHTSA and others. If you are wondering, the team is working to investigate the issues and to solve them.
Moreover, in 2016 the probe opened into 638,000 vehicles. On Thursday the probe was upgraded to an engineering analysis. It is a step before the agency can formally demand an automaker conduct a recall, of course, if it believes vehicles pose an unreasonable risk to safety.
What is NHTSA doing?
NHTSA said, that it is actively working with law enforcement agencies. The agency also revealed that it had “no substantive data or actual evidence,” such as a blood test “supporting a claim that any of the alleged injury or crash allegations were the result of carbon monoxide poisoning.” However, NHTSA has gotten a hold of preliminary testing. It suggests carbon monoxide levels may be elevated in certain driving scenarios. “Although the significance and effect of those levels remain under evaluation.”
The agency also said that it was examining vehicles used by the Austin, Texas, police department and “using professional grade detectors to monitors carbon monoxide under different driving scenarios.”
Moving on, Austin police had pulled 40 Explorers from service and more than a half-dozen officers became ill after reporting exposure to carbon monoxide, according to KXAN-TV in Austin.
So, NHTSA has conducted field inspections of vehicles and crashes. Those involve police units that occurred while the officers were on duty. NHTSA also said, that it recently learned that the Police Interceptor version of the Ford Explorer was experiencing exhaust manifold cracks. Those “appear to present a low level of detectability, and may explain the exhaust odor.”
Moreover, the police have reported two crashes that may be because of carbon monoxide exposure. Those include a rollover incident, and a third incident involving injuries related to carbon monoxide exposure. Ford issue is still here. What is next?