Over 450 Ford Explorer drivers filed complaints of a strong smell of exhaust fumes in their car. A police officer in Newport Beach, California filed a lawsuit against Ford after suffering a brain injury from his Ford Explorer police car. The officer, Brian McDowell, reported feeling sick and light-headed before blacking out in his vehicle. His car swerved through traffic before colliding with a tree. The issue will be settled in court, with the financial settlement decision left for the jury to decide.
2011-2017 Ford Explorer models all have reports of leaking exhaust fumes. Drivers report that the fumes are entering the vehicle from the rear seats of the car. This case is similar to the case of the 1971 Ford Pinto lawsuits. The American company was convicted of criminal homicide after the poorly placed engine of the Pinto would explode upon impact. After being convicted of criminal homicide, the jury ruled Ford not guilty. Ford, not wanting to repeat their past mistakes, released this statement:
"We take the safety of our customers very seriously and will cooperate with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do," Ford said in a statement. "In rare circumstances, there have been instances where customers detected an exhaust odor in Explorers. While it poses no safety risk, customers can and are encouraged to contact their local Ford dealer to address any concerns. "
The company has not issued a recall nor have they released any plans to resolve the defect. The company did, however, instruct its dealers to fix the issue. Brian McDowell urges other Explorer drivers to not take heed to this advice, "My advice is: sell the car," McDowell stated. "Don't try to get it fixed because there is no fix for this."
Originally reported on USAToday
Co-written by Elise Childers and Brian Dault for DaultLaw