The Center for Auto Safety, a Washington-based auto safety group, is urging Ford Motor Co. to recall 1.3 million Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicles following an increasing number of concerns about carbon monoxide leaks.
According to a tally from the safety group, almost 1,400 complaints about the exhaust fumes in the SUVs have been sent to the regulators. The fumes have affected hundreds of users, and more than 80 injuries have been recorded from the complaints.
In October, the Michigan-based Ford announced a nationwide service campaign to minimize the possibilities for exhaust fumes to go inside the cabins and said that an internal probe found out that carbon monoxide levels did not exceed what people are exposed to daily.
“Explorers are safe,” Ford said in a statement. “Ford’s investigation and extensive testing have not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day.”
“The safety of our customers is paramount. We encourage customers with carbon monoxide concerns to bring their vehicle to their local Ford dealer for a free service designed to reduce the concern.”
The complaints revealed that drivers experienced feeling ill, with symptoms that include headaches and dizziness to nausea and loss of consciousness, Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, said in a statement.
“There are no reported deaths associated with this dangerous defect – yet. It is easy to imagine a roadside crash caused by carbon monoxide exposure resulted in a fatality, but was written off as ‘drowsy driving’,” Levine said in his letter to Jim Hackett, Ford’s Chief Executive.
The letter signals an increase in the group’s demand for the automobile company to recall the models, after a similar request in October.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started its probe on the problem in 2011-2015 model-year Explorers. The agency heightened the range of the inquiry last July to involve 2016 and 2017 Explorers, totaling 1.3 million cars.
Meanwhile, the safety group suggested to the owners of the Explorer model to have monoxide detectors in their cars and record any increased levels. Any owner who has issues should reach out to them and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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