NHTSA Investigates Exhaust Fumes in Ford Explorer

Feb. 14, 2017
NHTSA is investigating the matter after receiving 154 complaints of occupants smelling exhaust odors in the occupant compartment.

Feb. 14, 2017—U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating the possibility that exhaust fumes are leaking into certain versions of the Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a probe into the matter in July after receiving 154 complaints of "occupants smelling exhaust odors in the occupant compartment, some of which expressed concerns about exposure to carbon monoxide," according to a government document.

The NHTSA investigation covers 2011 to 2015 Explorers.

"We take the safety of our customers very seriously and will cooperate with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do," Ford said in a statement. "In rare circumstances, there have been instances where customers detected an exhaust odor in Explorers. While it poses no safety risk, customers can and are encouraged to contact their local Ford dealer to address any concerns.​"

The automaker has not issued a recall to fix the alleged defect. But the company did issue two technical service bulletins in 2012 and 2014, which instructed dealers to attempt to fix the defect when motorists bring in vehicles for other repairs. The 2012 bulletin instructed dealers to apply sealant and undercoating to various parts. The 2014 bulletin incorporated those fixes and an additional software upgrade.

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