Some owners of Ford Explorers say carbon monoxide fumes are still leaking into the SUVs despite a free fix by the manufacturer.
Last year, a News4 Consumer Investigation found carbon monoxide inside two Ford Explorers at levels some experts called alarming. Ford insists its vehicles are safe, but after the stories aired, the automaker announced a free fix for more than 1 million Explorers to stop the exhaust odors.
But complaints keep coming in to Safercar.gov, the complaint database for the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.
One from Westminster, Maryland, says the “exhaust continues into the cabin” of a 2016 Explorer “affecting my family’s health.”
The owner of a 2017 Explorer in Mississippi says the fix "has not resolved the issue" and "exhaust fumes" are still in the "passenger cabin."
“To the extent that they're getting the repair, we’re still seeing a significant number of folks saying, I'm still having the problem,” said Jason Levine of the Center for Auto Safety. The Center for Auto Safety wants an immediate recall of 1.3 million ford explorers, model years 2011-2017.
“Is the fix not being done correctly or is a different fix needed? This is where we'd like to see NHTSA actually announce the results of its investigation,” Levine said.
NHTSA's administrator declined a request for an interview.
NHTSA sent a statement saying the investigation is ongoing and they're continuing to conduct "field inspections of complaint vehicles ... and monitoring Ford customer service repair campaigns for effectiveness."
Ford also turned down an interview request but said, “We continually monitor customer concerns, including those to NHTSA. We are confident our complimentary service procedure is effective."
That complimentary service has an expiration date of Dec. 31.
“What Ford has essentially done here is replace a recall with a technical service bulletin, which is one of these service updates,” Levine said. “Recalls don't expire; this shouldn't expire either.”
Ford said complaints to NHTSA have decreased significantly since they started their free fix a year ago.
If you smell exhaust fumes in your Explorer, Ford says you should contact your dealer for an inspection.
Also file a complaint on Safercar.gov.