An investigation has been opened into the mid-size Ford Explorer as reports have surfaced of carbon monoxide and exhaust poisoning.
In other words, the Ford Explorer may be making its owners sick, giving them headaches, and making them feel nauseous and light-headed. Bloomberg reports that there are over 3,000 complaints so far covering Explorer SUV models from 2010 to 2018.
“It’s a design issue, not a defect,” says Bob Gray, a Ford representative.
At least that’s what he said in a non-binding arbitration from January 2015 according to a transcript of the procedure. However, Ford now mentions that Gray was a contractor who misspoke.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating the Ford Explorer since 2016. The following year, it expanded the investigation after having “preliminary evidence” of elevated levels of carbon monoxide under certain driving conditions.
The US agency said it was investigating a potential security defect. That was in 2017. That same year, NHTSA said that 2,719 owners of Ford Explorer complained to either the agency or Ford directly.
Bloomberg’s investigation reports that of these nearly 3,000 complaints, 80 owners said they suffered “injuries” – headaches, nausea, and loss of consciousness. In addition, 11 of them claim that they had an accident after losing consciousness.
For its part, Ford ensures that the affected models of the Explorer are safe. “All of our testing to date has shown these vehicles are safe,” Mike Levine, Ford spokesperson, said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Ford’s investigation has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day.”