Are Ford Explorer Owners Being Exposed to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning? This Lawsuit Thinks So.

A Florida woman says her 5th generation Explorer is poisoning both her and her 5-year-old daughter with exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). The plaintiff says she complained about exhaust odors inside the cabin 8 times to a local dealership, only to be told the stink won’t hurt anyone.

Yeah, about that.

The lawsuit claims independent testing of the Ford Explorer confirmed carbon monoxide was entering the cabin of the vehicle while it was being driven.

The CO allegedly builds up when the auxiliary rear air conditioning is on and the engine is running at a higher RPM. This matches up with other stories told by owners to CarComplaints.com, saying the problem also happens during heavy acceleration:

When I accelerate fast, the exhaust enters the vehicle from the AC unit. It is only a matter of time before a child that is strapped into his seat dies of C.M. poisoning! The smell is extremely worse in the back seat, never mind sitting in the 3rd row! You would probably die a silent death rather quickly!

None of this should come as a surprise to Ford, considering they issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB 12-12-4) in December 2012 titled Explorer Exhaust Odor in Vehicle.

The TSB tells mechanics how to respond if a customer makes a stink about the stank:

Some 2011 - 2013 Explorer vehicles may exhibit an exhaust odor in the vehicle with the auxiliary climate control system on. Customers may indicate the odor smells like sulfur. This Technical Service Bulletin contains steps to correct the condition, including replacing the left side rear air extractor, installing a new drain valve, and applying new layers of undercoating.