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.