8/14/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Troopers Sue Ford Over Fumes in Explorer SUVs

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Six state troopers in Washington claim in a lawsuit that police versions of the Ford Explorer SUV leak exhaust fumes into the passenger compartment.

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Six state troopers in Washington claim in a lawsuit that police versions of the Ford Explorer SUV leak exhaust fumes into the passenger compartment.

The complaint, which covers 2014-2017 model Explorers, is the latest among reports dating back three years about police and regular versions of the SUV. Drivers say exhaust fumes inside the vehicle cause headaches, nausea and muddled thinking—all symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began an investigation into such complaints in 2016. The agency expanded its probe a year later to cover 1.3 million Explorers made between 2011 and 2017.

At the time, several police agencies reported problems, including one case where an officer passed out and crashed while driving an Explorer. Some departments sidelined their vehicles after tests found abnormally high levels of carbon monoxide inside the Explorers or in the blood of police officers who drove them.

NHTSA continues to test civilian and police versions of the Explorer, evaluate owner complaints and monitor Ford’s service campaign to fix exhaust odor within the vehicle. The agency says it will announce its findings when its investigation concludes.

Ford has noted that leaks can occur if aftermarket equipment installers leave unsealed holes at the rear of the body. The company also has found some cases where the engine’s exhaust manifold had cracked.