I purchased a 2015 Ford Explorer at Crossroads Ford in Wake Forest, NC. During the purchase, I was handed a document stating that this vehicle was a CPO (Certified Pre Owned) vehicle. This meant that it had passed a 169 point “safety inspection”.
7/24/17 – 8/4/17 –
I work out at a health club three times per week. During this time I could noticeably feel like my workouts were off. I told a friend that I had purchased an Explorer, and he commented “haven’t you read the stories on the internet about the Explorer, Carbon Monoxide poisoning and police departments?”
I started to feel pretty ill. My symptoms were headaches, weakness, dizziness and blurred vision. As I tried to sleep that night, my mind was racing and it dawned on me that this could be Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
I called my doctor, and they scheduled an appointment immediately. During my appointment, I suggested three possible options: exposure to mold, tick borne diseases and Carbon Monoxide poisoning. The doctor eliminated the mold option, and did blood-work which eliminated tick borne diseases from the possibilities. She then set up an appointment at Duke Raleigh hospital to get a blood test for Carbon Monoxide poisoning immediately.
The hospital did an arterial blood test and confirmed a 4.6 % contamination level of Carbon Monoxide. If this level would have been any higher, I would have been admitted to the hospital.
Keep in mind that I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. Keep in mind that I have multiple Carbon Monoxide detectors in my home that are hard wired (not battery powered). Also keep in mind that I have a maintenance contract on the heating system in my home, inspections and maintenance are performed twice a year. There is only one possible source for the poison – my Ford Explorer.
I called Crossroads Ford from the hospital parking lot and told them that I was bringing back their vehicle. To their credit, they had a loaner vehicle (not an Explorer) waiting for me, no questions asked. What upset me was that four people in the service department stood and watched me move things from the Explorer to the loaner vehicle while I was having difficulty keeping my balance.
I had the Explorer for a total of 16 days and drove it for a total of 562 miles.
I felt much worse so I called my doctor. She told me to call 911 and get to the Emergency Room. At the ER, additional blood work was done looking for additional problems, yet nothing was discovered – solely Carbon Monoxide poisoning. They also did an EKG because I am a heart patient and found no issues. They then hooked me up to oxygen for several hours which helped quite a bit.
At that point I became quite mad. When I got home, I went on line and learned all I could about Carbon Monoxide poisoning, the Ford Explorer and the connection between the two. As my education progressed, my anger increased and I decided to do something about this.
That day, I submitted complaints to a large number of places including Ford Customer Service, NHTSA, WRAL TV, Center for Auto Safety, Congressman David Price, Council of Better Business Bureaus, Federal Trade Commission, CarComplaints.com, CBS News and Fair Warning.com.
I received a call from Ford’s Office of the General Counsel in Detroit. They told me that they were going to send an engineer from Detroit to inspect my vehicle on 8/23. They asked how I was feeling and told me that they were going to send a form for me to complete. I was surprised that the first contact from Ford after this was from a lawyer!
I had a followup appointment with my doctor. At this point I was feeling normal. I went again to the hospital for another Carbon Monoxide blood test. Results was that the Carbon Monoxide levels in my blood were finally back in the normal range.
Summary: I was sick after driving the Explorer for one week, tested positive for Carbon Monoxide poisoning after only 16 days driving the Explorer and was without symptoms one week after returning the Explorer to Ford. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
I asked the General Manager of the dealership if I could be present in the service area when the inspection was performed by the Ford engineer and was told yes. When I arrived on the 23rd, I was told that I would not be allowed to witness the inspection or speak to the engineer. I was never given the results of the inspection but was later told by an investigative reporter that the Ford engineer claimed that there was nothing wrong with my Explorer.
Highlights of working with Crossroads Ford (Wake Forest, NC).
- I told the General Manager that I absolutely, positively did NOT want the Explorer back. His comment to me was “we will do everything possible to make you happy even if it means that we lose money”.
- I was told that they could not cash me out of the Explorer but would trade it in against another vehicle and would give me “current value” on the Explorer. This amounted to a $4,000 loss simply for having this deadly vehicle in my possession for 16 days. I said this was unacceptable.
- I was offered a low mileage lease (10,500) miles on a new F150. I said no because that is substantially less miles than what I drive and I would pay heavily at the end of the lease
- They offered a 2015 F150 for a monthly payment that was higher that what I was paying for the Explorer. I refused.
- They then called and told me that they had figured out a solution. I went to the dealership and starting signing papers. When I got to the purchase agreement, I discovered that the dealer had added an additional 12 months to the term of the loan and didn’t tell me, hoping that I wouldn’t notice it. I left the showroom without signing and stepped outside.
- After 30 minutes, they found me, told me that they had spoken to the owner of the dealership & had decided to absorb the $4,000 loss in order to sell me a F150 for the same amount, payment and loan duration that I had on the Explorer.
I finalized the purchase of the F150.
Am I financially whole after the exchange of vehicles? NO.
- There has been no offer by Ford or the dealer to pay my medical expenses incurred by their problematic vehicle.
- I was not reimbursed for my payment of the first months payment on the Explorer.
- I am out of pocket for the aftermarket trailer hitch which I had installed on the Explorer during my ownership.
- To give the F150 to the same capability as the Explorer (keep my tools dry and secure for the volunteer construction that I do), I had to purchase a camper cap for the F150. This is the primary reason that I had two SUV’s and subsequently purchased the Explorer.