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News About Ford

A collection of stories that owners should hear about including recalls, lawsuits, investigations, and top complaints. For a quick view of all stories, checkout the archive.

It Never Ends. Takata Recalls Expanded by 328,000 Vehicles

You know what feels like a long time ago? The first Takata inflator recall in May of 2013. That’s back when we were young and optimistic that the issue would be resolved quickly.

Now I can hardly remember what it feels like to have hope at all. Especially as we stare down the barrel of another recall expansion for passenger-side inflators in the Mustang, Edge, Fusion, and Ranger. CarComplaints.com has information on which model years and zones.

Across the industry 3.3 million vehicles are getting called back. There have been more confirmed casualties due to the inflators, and now there’s a stop-driving order for certain Ranger owners before it happens again.

It’s no wonder US Senators have started asking questions. Ooo, I have a question – what the heck took them so long?

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Ford’s Petition to Stop Takata Recall Has Been Denied

Like it or not, Ford is going to need to recall nearly 3 million vehicles with Takata airbags. Back in July, Ford filed a petition to delay the recalls so they could investigate the matter further.

Time’s up.

NHTSA says the request for additional testing by the automakers isn’t reasonable based on the data that has been collected.

This isn’t a no harm, no foul situation. Delaying the recall puts people’s lives at risk and it’s not a good look for Ford.

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2017 F-150 Could Remain in Gear, Even if Your Gear Shifter Says Otherwise

Ford is recalling 15,000 F-150’s from the 2017 model year. David Woods, reporting for CarComplaints.com:

The 2017 trucks are equipped with 10-speed automatic transmissions that can remain in gear no matter where the gear shift lever is positioned. Ford says a pin that attaches the transmission shift linkage to the transmission can come out, leaving the shift lever unable to change gears.

In other words, the shift lever might say “park” while the transmission is still very much in “drive.” Until the fix is ready, now would be a very good time to become friends with your parking brake.

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Texas Police Officer Says Ford’s Negligence Resulted in Nerve Damage

Another day, another police officer accusing Ford of negligently poisoning them while on the job.

Austin police officer Ryan Hancock says his symptoms (nausea, headaches and vision problems ) continued the next day and caused him to seek medical help. According to the lawsuit, tests conducted at the hospital showed his symptoms were from carbon monoxide poisoning. Furthermore, the plaintiff says his nervous system has been damaged by the fumes.

Hancock is represented by Brian Chase, the same attorney repressing officer Zachary LaHood in another carbon monoxide lawsuit against the automaker.

A common theme in these lawsuits is pointing to a series of Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) which show Ford has known about the dangerous problem for years.

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Consumer Group Urges Ford to Issue a Recall for Exhaust Fumes and Carbon Monoxide Problems

The free customer program may sound good to some Explorer owners, but the Center for Auto Safety says the program doesn’t go far enough and the automaker should not be allowed to get by with anything less than an official recall.

Recalls are reserved for safety-related issues. Ford obviously doesn’t think this qualifies, but in my opinion they’re wrong.

By calling it a “service campaign,” the automaker doesn’t have to follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) rules for notifying all owners. Instead, only owners who hear about the campaign through other means will get the repairs.

The service campaign also has a deadline – December 31, 2018. While recalls aren’t open-ended, they come with a specific expiration date and are always performed within a reasonable timeframe.

Bottom line: a service campaign with an expiration date 14 months from now means less owners will hear about it → the less that hear about it, the less that get it repaired → the less that get it repaired, the more money Ford saves.

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Without calling it a recall, Ford will make repairs to 1.4 million non-police Ford Explorer SUVs

Ford will finally address Explorer owner’s concerns about exhaust entering their cabin. Just don’t call it a recall.

From David Woods on CarComplaints.com:

Ford announced “complimentary service” for 1.4 million model year 2011-2017 non-police Explorers in North America. Ford insists the SUVs are perfectly safe to drive and the “complimentary service” is not an official recall.

For whatever reason, Ford appears dead set against recalling this problem. In July 2017, the automaker created a “special program” to fix carbon monoxide (CO) exposure in Explorer Interceptor police vehicles.

Since then, Ford has been adamant that exhaust smells in the cabin and CO exposure are different beasts.

Ford says carbon monoxide concerns in Explorer Police Interceptor SUVs are caused by unsealed holes and gaps from the installation of police equipment by third parties. That’s something that doesn’t apply to non-police models.

Of course, that doesn’t jive with stories from owners who report elevated CO levels coming through the rear auxiliary air conditioning unit when the engine is running at higher RPMs.

Two months ago, a 2017 Explorer owner filed a lawsuit after admitting herself to the hospital after driving her SUV for a long distance. The plaintiff experienced dizziness and nausea, and spent three days at the Henry Ford Hospital in Clinton Township, Michigan. The doctors said her carbon monoxide levels were “high normal.”

Recall or not, this “complimentary service” is good news for Explorer owners.

Ford will replace the lift-gate drain valves, re-program the air conditioners, and sealing the rear of the SUVs. These are similar procedures to those outlined in a July 2014 Technical Service Bulletin (TSB 14-0130). In other words, Ford has known about these issues for a long time, they just didn’t necessarily want you to know they know. You know?

The service is available for any non-police 2011-2017 Explorers (regardless of mileage or warranty) between November 1, 2017, and December 31, 2018.

At this time, it doesn’t appear NHTSA has closed their investigation which leaves the door open for a recall.

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Feds Have Upgraded Their Explorer Carbon Monoxide Investigation to an ‘Engineering Analysis’

NHTSA isn’t too happy with Ford’s response to the carbon monoxide problem. Welcome to the club.

Ford tested 4 Explorers, some that had been repaired using the steps recommended in TSBs, and didn’t find a problem:

Ford says all these CO levels are well below any standards, especially since investigators found only “momentary” levels that quickly disappeared. In addition, when investigators allegedly drove the SUVs without using wide-open throttles, the carbon monoxide levels were zero.

NHTSA took Ford’s “there’s nothing to see here” conclusion under advisement, and then promptly upgraded their investigation to an “engineering analysis.” They also expanded it to include the 2011-2017 Explorer, roughly 840,000 vehicles total.

Game on.

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Ford Sued (Again) for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

There’s a new Explorer carbon monoxide lawsuit in town, and this one is expanding the size of the problem.

[Plaintiff Mary] Boatner says that on July 6 she drove the Explorer from Alabama to Michigan and noticed a strong chemical odor. Ms. Boatner rolled down her windows for fresh air but the odor was still there … When Ms. Boatner arrived in Michigan, and for several days thereafter, she allegedly experienced restlessness, lack of focus, fatigue, nausea and headaches.

Mrs. Boatner owns a 2017 Explorer, which falls outside the scope of the current NHTSA investigation.

There were hints the problem was bigger than just the 2011-2015 model years. Ford’s own program to fix Police Interceptor Explorers included the 2016-2017 model years.

The lawsuit says the problem exists in the newest Explorers, and interesting names the 2007-2013 Ford Edge and 2007-2015 Lincoln MKX as well.

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3 Police Officers Are Suing Ford Over Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Ford Explorer Police Interceptor carbon monoxide problems have led to three police officers suing the automaker after they allegedly crashed their patrol vehicles.

One of the officers is from Austin. The other suffered a dangerous crash after passing out in their patrol car.

Ford has been working with police departments to inspect the SUVs and seal any spaces created when aftermarket police-related equipment was installed in the rear of the Explorers.

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Ford Isn’t Sold On This Whole “Takata Recall” Thing

Takata says there are 2.7 million Ford and Nissan vehicles that should be recalled because they contain dangerous airbags. Given their propensity to explode in people’s faces, it seems only logical to follow that advice.

Nissan’s on board, but Ford isn’t sold on the idea because the airbags contain a drying agent that’s supposed to protect the inflators.

Unlike the tens of millions of airbag inflators already recalled in millions of vehicles, the 2.7 million inflators have a drying agent (desiccant) called calcium sulfate used to protect the explosive chemical, ammonium nitrate, from moisture.

That’s all well and good, but here’s the thing – Takata believed the desiccant was going to keep the airbags safe but then they tested them. The result? Not so safe.

Takata says airbag inflators with calcium sulfate returned from the field have experienced no ruptures in ballistic tests, but some of the inflators did show a pattern of the ammonium nitrate losing density.

That lost density is a warning sign that these airbags could also experience inflator ruptures in the future.

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