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Ford Explorer Owners Still Complaining of Exhaust Odor in Cabin

The Drive logoThe Drive 2/16/2017 Max Goldberg
© 2013 Ford Motor Company

The latest generation of the Ford Explorer has sold like wildfire since 2011 but apparently there is a glaring issue with the popular SUV. According to NHTSA reports, 154 (now 450) people have complained of an odor leaking into the cabin from the car's exhaust. Customer's believe they are inhaling carbon monoxide that is leaking in through unsealed seams in the rear of the vehicle.


According to NHTSA's reports, the incident occurs when the vehicle is accelerating with the air conditioning on and in circulation mode.  Officer Brian McDowell, a Newport, California police officer, passed out behind the wheel of his 2014 Ford Interceptor Utility due to the exhaust leak. Toxicology screens indicated that McDowell was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, further backing up his claim that fumes contributed to the accident.

Ford Explorers May Be Leaking Carbon Monoxide into Cabin

Ford has acknowledged that customers have complained about fume buildup in the passenger compartment but they said the odor poses no safety risk. However, Ford still admitted the odor was a "design issue." Although the NHTSA's investigation only included Ford Explorers from 2011-2015, people are still documenting the issue in current model years.

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