I purchased my explorer on November 27, 2017 and was ecstatic. The thing was awesome, until…
About mid January I started getting headaches and fatigue. I thought it was just part of life and the stress that comes with it. But it kept being persistent and getting worse. My wife kept asking if things were ok because my personality was changing. It was scary.
I purchased a CO detector without a digital readout in late February and I installed it on March 8. On March 12 it went off on my way to work. I had the detector go off again on March 12 on my way home from work and I dropped it off at the dealership. I then had a blood test performed on March 13 which did show elevated levels of carbon monoxide in my blood.
After 24 days of my vehicle in the shop and the engineer from Ford coming to view my vehicle, the determination is that there is nothing wrong and the vehicle is to be returned to me.
In the process the Ford engineer stated that my CO detector wasn’t valid because it had many flaws and he was able to make it false indicate with excessive manual manipulation. He also stated that the CO in my blood must be from home or work. Nobody at my home or work have symptoms of CO poisoning AND I have had 0 symptoms and have felt normal since I dropped the car off.
I do not feel safe having my 5 year old and 8 month old in that vehicle. I have ordered a better detector with digital read out so that I can document further issues and pursue a remedy under Michigan’s lemon law.
2017 Ford Explorer Carbon Monoxide Timeline of Events
November 27, 2017 – Take Delivery of vehicle from Courtesy Ford, 1830 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos, MI 48864.
Mid January 2018 – Began experiencing bad headaches on a frequent basis. Feelings of fatigue and changes in mood and personality, dizziness, blurred vision, and balance/coordination issues begin.
End of February 2018 – Research symptoms to understand what questions to ask doctor and find site detailing the link of carbon monoxide poisoning to 2011-2017 Ford Explorers. This site recommended purchasing a carbon monoxide detector that plugs in to the cigarette lighter to determine if the vehicle’s passenger cabin has carbon monoxide intrusion, “The 2011-2017 Ford Explorer Has A Dangerous Defect That Ford Has Known About For Years” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaxHZWOoPCU&t=691s)
February 28, 2018 – Ordered SOLOLIFE Multi-Function Car Carbon Monoxide Detector from Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076ZQFHXJ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B076ZQFHXJ&linkCode=as2&tag=legitstreetca-20&linkId=26198bdae652cb5b4e8b7b39b0c6dbcc)
March 8, 2018 – Received the detector ordered.
March 9, 2018 – Installed the detector in my 2017 Ford Explorer
March 12, 2018 – At approximately 6:20am EDT, the carbon monoxide detector went off with beeping and flashing lights indicating the presence of carbon monoxide in excess of 100ppm. I was 5 minutes into my commute to work stopped at t stoplight with no traffic on a city street. At the same time, I began getting a severe headache. I immediately rolled down my windows to allow fresh air to enter the passenger cabin. The carbon monoxide detector continued going off the entire 25 minutes remaining on my drive to work and I was very cold.
At 8:02am I posted my events of the day on Facebook. It has since been shared 34 times.
At 8:03am I called Courtesy Ford and spoke with xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Service Advisor, and explained what had happened. Initially he said he thought there was a recall for that issue, but then recanted that statement after he checked my VIN. He stated that they had no loaner vehicles available and that they best they could do was call me later in the week when one was made available.
At 8:10am I then called the Ford Motor Company customer line at 1-800-392-3673 (gotten from Ford Motor Company’s website, www.ford.com) and spoke with xxxxxx. He took my complaint down and communicated to me that he created an escalated case, case number CAS-14298976. He said I should expect a call from xxxxxxxxx, Service Manager at Courtesy Ford, regarding this case.
At 8:27am I called my primary care physician, Dr. xxxxxxxxxx, to schedule an appointment for the potential CO exposure. This appointment was scheduled for 4:15pm on 3/13/18, the earliest available time.
At 8:33am I called Courtesy Ford to speak with xxxxxxxxxxxx to confirm he had received the case information from Ford. I was told that he was not in yet, but was expected after 9am.
At 9:36am I called Courtesy Ford to speak with xxxxxxxxxx and was told that he was out sick, but may be in to check on a few things.
At approximately 4:40pm, I drove my car home from work. At 4:48pm I called my mother and as she answered the phone, the carbon monoxide detector in my car went off again. I, again, rolled down the windows on my Explorer and within 1 minute the carbon monoxide detector shut off. I continued on my drive home with the windows down.
At 5:18pm, I called Courtesy Ford and spoke with xxxxxxxxxxxx, Service Advisor, and explained to him the events of the day and told him that I was bringing the car to the dealership to drop off and I expected a loaner car to be available. He worked it out so that could happen.
At approximately 6:30pm, I dropped the car off at Courtesy Ford with xxxxxxxxxxxxx. I had asked xxxxxx if they had seen any Explorers for this issue and he stated that they had not seen civilian models, but did have 2 police interceptor models for carbon monoxide intrusion. He also stated that they have not received any notifications from Ford regarding this issue on civilian models. At the time I dropped the vehicle off it had approximately 5,240 miles on it. I was given a brand new Ford Escape as my loaner vehicle.
March 13, 2018 – At 4:15pm I had my appointment with my physician and I explained the situation and my symptoms. He stated that my symptoms were consistent with CO poisoning and he ordered a carboxyhemoglobin blood test. At approximately 4:50pm, I had my blood drawn by xxxxxxxxxxxxx.
March 14, 2018 – At 9:49am I received a call from my physician, Dr. xxxxxxxxxxxx, and he stated that the results were back and that I had elevated levels in my system. I was at a 1.7 which according to him would be expected if I were exposed to a fire. He then stated that it was conclusive enough for him to determine that I was exposed to Carbon Monoxide at a toxic level.
At 11:30am I spoke with my companies (xxxxxxxx Motors) Federal Compliance manager, xxxxxxxxxx, to determine what action could be taken with filing a complaint with NHTSA and how that worked. He instructed me on how to file a complaint with safercar.org and I filed a complaint with NHTSA, issue number 11079096.
My headaches subsided and I was feeling more normal, almost as if my head were coming out of a fog.
March 16, 2018 – In the evening, my wife mentioned that I was beginning to act normal again and I had not had a recurrence of headaches or unexplainable fatigue. My dizziness, balance/coordination, and vision issues are also non-existent.
March 19, 2018 – At 3:19pm I called Courtesy Ford to get a status update on my vehicle. I asked to speak with xxxxxxxxxxx. He was unavailable so I left a voicemail.
At 3:34pm xxxxxxxx returned my call and left a voicemail on my cell phone. He had stated that he has been working with engineers at Ford on this issue and getting instructions on what to do to investigate where the issue is coming from. He said they were going to pressurize the cabin and look for body leaks, but so far they have found noting. He said there were going to continue to investigate and as soon as he found more, he would let me know.
March 22, 2018 – At 11:18am I called Courtesy Ford to speak with xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Sales Consultant, who sold me the Explorer in November of 2017. I left a voicemail as he was unavailable.
At 12:04pm xxx called me back and I explained the situation to him. He advised that he wants to get me away from that vehicle and in to something different. He was going to check with his dealership management on what options exist and what they could offer to do. He was going to call me back the be end of the day on March 22, 2018. That communication did not happen.
March 23, 2018 – At 9:10am sent email and timeline to Fairwarning.org (Editor Myron Levin)
At 9:13am filed complaint with The Center for Auto Safety
At 9:26am I received a call from xxxxxxxxxxxxxx from Courtesy Ford who provided me an update on the Explorer. Ford engineering will be sending a field service engineer and design engineers to Courtesy Ford the week of 3/26/18 – No definitive date provided. He also stated that I will need to return the loaner vehicle to xxxxxxxxxx Ford and receive a new one due to the mileage. I stated that I need to collect my personal items from my vehicle as well and that I am very displeased with the communication from xxxxxxxx Ford on this situation. I also asked if they put a CO detector in the vehicle for their tests and he stated that they had, but it did not yield any results. Andrew stated that he had not communicated with xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
At 9:34am I called xxxxxxxxxxxxx to follow up on yesterday’s call. He stated that he has communicated the concern to xxxxxxx Ford management (xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Vice President – General Manager and xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx, Vice President). He requested that I send all data to him relating to this issue, i.e. timeline, blood test results, CO detector information, etc. From there they will forward the information on to Ford for direction on a resolution.
I also asked xxxxxxx what more I needed to do to get urgency and attention to this issue. Whether that is communicate with local news media, get legal representation, etc. He stated that xxxxxxx Ford hears this issue and is working to diligently resolve the problem. I also stated that I am seeking some correction on the financial harm being done to me due to the fact that I am paying insurance, registration and lease for a Ford Explorer Platinum, yet I am driving a Ford Escape SEL. He stated that he will ensure I have a satisfactory loaner vehicle for the next round.
I am to forward all documentation to xxx at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and I will be going to the dealership in the afternoon of 3/23/18 to collect remaining personal items and swap loaner vehicles.
At 4:10pm I arrived at xxxxxxxxxx Ford to swap out loaners and collect my personal items from the 2017 Ford Explorer. I conversed with xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxx during this visit.
In discussing the situation with xxxxxxxxxx and xxx, xxxxxxxxxxx stated that xxxxxxxxxx Ford was the dealership that identified the CO problem and fix for the police interceptor models and that the fix they identified was the fix for the recall that was issued for the police interceptor vehicle.
As that discussion tool place, I stated that I felt the leak had to be somewhere between the header and catalytic converter. xxxxxxxx then stated that part of the fix for the police interceptor model was to replace the catalytic converter. I then connected the fact that the engine in my Explorer is the same as in the police interceptor, a Twin Turbo 3.5L V6. xxx and xxxxxxx both agreed that it would be the same engine and they would bring that up with the engineers when they arrive.
I asked if I could be present when the engineers come out to xxxxxxxxxxxx Ford and xxxxxxxxxxx stated that he would keep me informed of the time, but they don’t usually give him much notice. He also didn’t see any issue with me being present.
March 28, 2018 – At 4:30pm I received a call from xxxxxxxxxxxx who updated me on the estimated arrival of the engineers from Ford. He said that they would not be out until Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at the earliest. He said he wanted to keep me informed and if he hears of a more specific time, he will let me know.
At 4:59pm I called xxxxxxxxxxxxxx and left a voice mail for him to call me back as I wanted to follow up on the progress he and the dealership management have made with Ford.
At 5:40pm xxx called me back and we discussed the update from xxxxxx and I asked if he had any update on the progress with xxxxxxxxxxxxx and his contacts at Ford Motor Company. xx informed me that the requests made by xxxxxxxx are part of why it is taking so long for the engineers to get out to the dealership. xxxxxx wanted to make sure specific engineers were dispatched for this issue and not just the next one up on rotation.
xxx stated that until the engineers review the vehicle and understand what is going on, there was little that could be done with regards to customer satisfaction, but that I just need to wait it out.
I stated to xxx that based on Michigan Lemon Laws, next week the Ford Explorer will qualify as a lemon since it will be in the shop for more than 25 days. He then restated that I just need to be patient and unfortunately everyone (including xxxxxxxx Ford) needs to let the process run it’s course.
April 3, 2018 – At 1:37pm I received a call from xxx at xxxxxxx Ford that the engineer from Ford was at the dealership to look at my vehicle. I stated that I could be there in about 30 minutes. He said that should work.
At 2:15pm I arrived at xxxxxx Ford and met with xxx and xxxxx and was introduced to xxxxxx, the engineer from Ford. Xxxx and xxxxx stated that they went on a 20 minute test drive and could not detect anything more that 4ppm of carbon monoxide with the reading most of the time being at 1ppm. I showed my CO detector to xxxxx and suggested we go for another test drive to see if either detector would pick up anything. They agreed.
In preparing for the test drive, xxxx placed his CO detector at the tailpipe and it would not read any CO coming out of the tailpipe. He went in to the repair shop, did something and then stated that it was reading 8ppm in the repair shop. He came back out and placed his detector by the tailpipe and again it did not read anything. So, we proceeded with the test drive. We went for another 20 minute test drive starting in Okemos and heading east to Williamston. During the test drive my CO detector was plugged in to the rear quarter panel on the driver side as it was prior and xxxx held his in his hand as he sat in the back seat. During the test drive neither detector indicated harmful levels. The CO detector that xxxx had indicated a peak of 1ppm.
During the drive we discussed potential points of failure and I asked a lot of questions about the exhaust system from the header to the catalytic converter. I.E. could there be cracks in the exhaust manifold coming off the header, could the catalytic converter be misfunctioning, are there any gaskets that could be failing, etc. xxxxx stated that they will have to check that out.
I left the dealership at about 3:10pm and was told by xxxxxx and xxxxxx that the next course of action was to put the vehicle up on the lift and look at the catalytic converter, the exhaust system, etc. xxxxx stated that they would pressurize the exhaust system and spray down the piping to see if there were any leaks.
Andrew stated that at this point, they will continue the investigation and I should hear from him in the next couple of days.
April 4, 2018 – At 8:54am I received a call from xxxxxxx at xxxxxx Ford and he stated that the final results were back from the engineer’s visit on April 3. He stated that the engineer has determined that there is no problem found with my vehicle and it is to be released back to me. xxxxx stated that since Ford has made this determination, there is nothing more he can do with the vehicle and I need to come pick it up. In that same conversation he stated that the engineer was able to get my CO detector to provide a false indication after manual manipulation in the 12 volt socket. He also stated that the engineer said that the CO in my blood had to have come from work or home and it could not have come from the vehicle.
At 9:42am I called xxxxxxxx at xxxxx Ford to discuss the conversation with xxxxxx and to understand what could happen next. Xxx stated that he would have to talk to management but he was surprised at Ford’s stance.
At 10:02am xxxxx called me back and stated that the only thing the dealership could do is to trade in my vehicle or buy it out and I would have to pay the lease penalty, etc. I told him that it was ridiculous that I was being further penalized for this vehicle. Xxxxx was going to get my vehicle appraised and develop some options that may exist as I do not feel safe in that vehicle.