Federal Regulators Ratchet Up Probe of Ford Explorer Exhaust Complaints

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

by Christopher Jensen

Over the last five years, auto safety regulators have received hundreds of complaints of exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide wafting into the cabins of Ford Explorers.

Investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who began looking into the issue only last year, say they’ve uncovered no medical evidence that motorists have been exposed to elevated levels of the odorless and poisonous gas.

However, the federal regulators haven’t yet seen Steve Simmons’ medical records.

In August, less than two weeks after the Raleigh, N.C., resident bought a 2015 Explorer and began feeling ill, blood tests said that he had carbon monoxide poisoning. “I could feel that something wasn’t right,” he said. “I started feeling lousy. The symptoms were headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision.”

Duke Raleigh Hospital said Simmons, 62, had a carbon monoxide level in his blood of 4.6 percent–a high level for a non-smoker like him. “Elevated carbon monoxide above 2 percent in non-smokers strongly supports this diagnosis, which is consistent with lab work and evaluation,” the hospital report said.

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