NHTSA looking into potentially lethal carbon monoxide emissions building up inside 2011-2014 Ford Explorers

Published on March 27th, 2017

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has announced that it is looking into complaints from owners of 2011-2014 Ford Explorers where exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide are allegedly backing up into the vehicles creating potentially dangerous conditions.   NHTSA spokeswoman, Karen Aldana, commented on June 20, 2014 that the agency “is aware of the complaints involving 2011-2014 Ford Explorers” and “is reviewing all available data and will take appropriate action as warranted.”   To date, over 15 complaints have been lodged by consumers on NHTSA’s website regarding this issue.  Further, a class action lawsuit was recently filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Ford Motor Company for the same problem.

While Ford Motor Company has yet to take official responsibility for the emission leaks, its engineers are seemingly aware there is a problem.  In fact, on December 10, 2012, Ford Motor Company issued a Technical Service Bulletin (“TSB”) that describes a very similar condition that is being reported to NHTSA.  Per Ford’s TSB 12-12-4, Ford admits that “some 2011-2013 Explorer vehicles may exhibit an exhaust odor in the vehicle” and that the “odor smells like sulfur.”  Ford’s bulletin provides its dealers with a 12 step repair to address the condition.  Unfortunately, many owners of Ford Explorers are reporting that the TSB does not fix the problem.

Importantly, while NHTSA has not yet initiated an official investigation into the reported carbon monoxide leaks, existing federal law provides consumers with recourse.  In 1975, Congress passed the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a remedial federal law that provides protection to consumers who buy or lease consumer products with warranties.   Per the federal Warranty Act, if warrantors fail to comply with their obligations in their warranties, consumers may bring lemon law suits in state or federal court for breach of warranty.  Consumers may seek money damages, including attorneys’ fees and costs

Therefore, whether you are experiencing sulfur odors and carbon monoxide leaks in your Ford Explorer or whether you have any other recurring defects in your vehicle, you may have rights under federal or state lemon laws. The experienced lemon law attorneys at Krohn and Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ® have successfully handled over 35,000 lemon law claims since 1995.  We offer a FREE CASE REVIEW for you to assess whether we can assist you with your lemon car, truck, SUV, or other vehicle and a free and quick Lemon Law case evaluator. Please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-800-875-3666 or visit our website at

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