Two years after federal safety officials opened an investigation to determine if 2011-17 Ford Explorers exposed passengers to high levels of carbon monoxide, a consumer safety group asked the automaker Monday to recall more than 1 million SUVs.
“With all due respect to the efforts undertaken by Ford, and NHTSA, over these last two years, the continued complaints and corresponding reports of incidents and injuries demonstrate the problem of Carbon Monoxide exposure inside Ford Explorers has not been resolved,” Jason Levine, director of the Center for Auto Safety, said in a statement.
The Washington, D.C.-based safety organization said in a letter addressed to Ford CEO Jim Hackett that some owners of 2018 Ford Explorers have complained of exhaust fumes leaking into the cabin, which indicates the automaker hasn't fixed a potentially critical flaw on its newest vehicles.
In October 2017, Ford issued a statement for the carbon monoxide complaints and issued a free service bulletin to concerned owners. Ford said the Explorers are "safe."
"Our investigation has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day," the automaker said in an October statement.
Ford did not immediately comment on the letter sent to Hackett from the CAS on Monday.
The center said that the fix offered by Ford did not directly address the source of carbon monoxide, likely the exhaust manifold, and instead reapplied sealant and reprogrammed the climate control to reduce exhaust fumes leaking into the cabin.
Several people who brought their vehicles in for fixes have complained about exhaust smells, the center reported. More than 1,500 complaints have been filed with federal safety regulators.