It seems that a month does not go by without the news that some car company has a model of vehicle that is getting press over some defective part or another. Many of these may be minor complaints that in the long run have no direct impact on the car’s owners or passengers. However, some of these are actually quite dangerous and has the potential to seriously harm those who the vehicle should be protecting. This seems to be the case for the Ford Explorer, a vehicle that has recently been plagued by problems with exhaust that is seeing many people file complaints and personal injury claims.
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began to investigate numerous complaints concerning Ford Explorers manufactured between 2011 and 2015. (This investigation has since expanded to include Explorers models from 2016 and 2017 as well.) The chief complaint from Explorer owners that launched this investigation involved the smell of exhaust and similar odors that began to fill the occupant area of the vehicle. Although Ford has not issued a recall on the over 650,000 vehicles that could be affected by this defect, the company has issued three “technical service bulletins” that instructs a dealer to “attempt” to correct the problem if a customer brings in the vehicle with a complaint. The dealers were told to seal various parts of the vehicle and upgrade some of the computer system’s software. However, many of those customers who have received the repairs report that it has resulted in “little or no improvement.”
Complaints about the exhaust problem describe the smell as being similar to rotten eggs or sulfur with others claiming that it smells similar to gas. This latter claim has led many people to fear that the car may be leaking carbon monoxide or a similarly deadly gas into the vehicle’s interior. The issue is particularly noticeable when the driver is accelerating while the air conditioner is running and circulating the air in the car. Some of these owners have filed lawsuits because of injuries ranging from headaches and burning eyes to attacks of bronchitis and asthma, particularly in children. In 2016, Ford settled a class action lawsuit in Florida regarding this issue and there are more still being filed and adjudicated.
If you own a 2011 to 2017 model Ford Explorer and you have been affected by the problem of an exhaust-like smell filling the car, it is imperative that you take your car to be serviced and request the repairs as soon as possible. If you have been injured by this defect, you have legal rights to compensation. The attorneys of Wolf & Pravato are available to review your case for free and consult with you about your rights in this matter.
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