The Ford Explorer is widely known as the best-selling midsize SUV in the country, with over a million on the road. But hundreds of customers have come forward claiming the vehicles might be making them sick. According to some, it has been reported as a sulfur or rotten egg smell coming into the car, more noticeable during periods of hard acceleration. It's exhaust coming from the rear of the vehicle and one officer claims it could have killed him and possibly others.
In February of 2017 it was reported that Newport Beach police officer Brian McDowell was responding to a non-emergency call in his 2014 Ford Explorer police cruiser when he passed out behind the wheel, crossed over the center lane in front of opposing traffic and slammed the vehicle into a tree, suffering a dislocated shoulder, fractured eye socket and traumatic brain injury. The entire incident was recorded on his dashcam. He has no memory of the incident except suddenly developing a headache and feeling nauseous. After months of medical testing no underlying health reason or drugs were found to have caused this isolated incident. A 12 year veteran, he has sued the automaker for his injuries and his inability to continue work on the force.
In March of 2017 Austin Texas Police Officer Zachary Lahood was operating one of the police department's Ford Explorers when he suddenly felt sick and began to lose control of the vehicle almost hitting a bus head on. After the incident the stunned officer was thankful a catastrophe was avoided. "I'm lucky to be alive, I believe that. And I'm lucky I didn't kill someone else or their family that night", he said. A 13 year veteran of the police force, he remains on medical leave and is suing Ford. In the last week alone, six more officers have been treated for carbon monoxide exposure and as a result that department has take 37 Ford Explorers out of service.
The Philadelphia Police Department is among police departments around the nation taking a close look at some of the SUVs that officers drive. In Philadelphia, city employees drive Ford Interceptor SUVs—a version of the Explorer specially made for law enforcement. The city of Philadelphia has 203—188 are in the police department. A spokesman for the city of Philadelphia says city officials are in contact with Ford but have not discovered any problems locally.
But the town of Auburn, Massachusetts outside of Boston has seen problems—an officer lost consciousness and crashed an explorer on Wednesday, July 26. The officer tested positive for carbon monoxide.
The U.S. government's auto safety agency has expanded an investigation into complaints of exhaust fumes inside Ford Explorer SUVs, adding two model years and nearly 400,000 vehicles.
Thhe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on Thursday July 27, 2017 that the probe now covers more than 1.3 million Explorers from the 2011 through 2017 model years. The agency made the move after finding more than 2,700 complaints of exhaust odors in the passenger compartment and fears of carbon monoxide in an investigation that it started a year ago. Among those complaints were three crashes and 41 injuries, which include loss of consciousness, nausea and headaches. The agency said it had upgraded the probe from an investigation to an engineering analysis, a step closer to a recall. That could mean high costs for Ford down the road if it has to do a recall and which has been not only applied to police vehicles but also has been expanded to include vehicles sold directly to the public.
If you have a legal question or have suffered an injury from carbon monoxide poisoning while in your Ford Explorer, it's important you consult with an experienced attorney so you can receive the compensation you deserve. Contact The Brod Law Firm online or call 1-888-435-7946 (888-HELPWIN) for a free consultation. We serve all of the state of Pennsylvania from our offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bala Cynwyd.