A safety group is calling on Ford to recall 1.3 million Ford Explorers following additional complaints about carbon monoxide leaks.
The Center for Auto Safety wants Ford to recall 2011 to 2017 Explorers. The group says the recall would allow dealers to inspect exhaust manifolds, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has indicated it is looking into as the possible source of the exhaust odor.
On Nov. 1, 2017, Ford offered a free repair to customers who complained of exhaust fumes or carbon monoxide leaks. But News4 heard from two customers who said after numerous attempts by Ford mechanics to lessen the smell of exhaust in their vehicles, it is still there.
Ford agreed to buy back their SUVs.
News4 also found numerous complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from other Ford Explorer owners who said the free repair didn't work. One driver said they "still felt ill in the vehicle." Another driver said, "This did not resolve the issue."
Jason Levine, executive director for The Center for Auto Safety, said Ford chose a "less expensive and less effective repair."
"It tells us this is not simply something that can be fixed by recirculating the air in a different direction or weather stripping," Levine said. "They need to come up and replace the manifolds. They need to get these vehicles in and inspect them."
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Ford told News4 that exhaust manifolds are not the source of the leaks, and engineers are still investigating.
In a statement to News4, Ford said:
"Explorers are safe. Ford’s investigation and extensive testing has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day. 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. If they are not satisfied with the service, we encourage them to call our dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575."