Fords Actions to Date
Ford has recalled the police interceptor version of the Ford Explorer to replace exhaust system (replacing straight exhaust tips with downward facing) and made other repairs of exhaust leaks on all model years since 2011. Ford is also offering owners of civilian Explorers a free inspection and repair of carbon monoxide but that does not include the exhaust system, and also does not include a free loaner vehicle or an offer to buy back or replace the vehicle if it can’t be fixed to the owner’s satisfaction. It also is only available until the end of 2018.
Ford issued TSBs to its dealers on this issue in 2012, 2014, and 2016 that described the problem as an Exhaust Odor and denied any carbon monoxide had been detected in non-police Explorers. Only in 2017, after NHTSA moved from initial inquiry to a defect investigation, did Ford finally send a letter to all Explorer owners offering free inspections and repairs for any carbon monoxide concerns they might have as part of a voluntary “Customer Satisfaction Program” (17N03). Although Ford nevertheless insisted vehicles were safe even if not repaired , since “Our investigation has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day”.
Neither the earlier TSBs nor Ford’s latest CSP issued in November 2017, also called a Field Service Action, are formal recalls. If they were, Ford would not be allowed by NHTSA to continue saying these vehicles are safe, and it could not limit its repair offer to just 13 months.
The latest CSP, like the earlier TSBs issued for the Police Interceptor models, requires only a visual inspection—with no CO detector and not even a road test to see if they can detect an exhaust odor. Dealers are supposed to reprogram the climate control system on all vehicles, seal seams around the rear, and replace any damaged or missing weatherstrips, wiring grommets, drain plugs, and air extractors
These CO inspections can only give owners a false sense of security, however, as long as Ford dealers are doing them without CO detectors. What Ford should be offering instead are full buybacks.
Ford deciding what’s to be done to fix the problem is like the fox guarding the chicken coop. Do not expect Ford to be able to police itself. This fix must be done via a full recall mandated by the NHTSA. Remember that Ford found nothing wrong with my Explorer only two weeks after I was diagnosed with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning with a blood test to back it up!!