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Is Leaking Exhaust Making Drivers Sick?

» Posted July 14, 2017Resources | Share This Post

Drivers have a right to expect the vehicles they drive will be reasonably safe and free of serious defects. Unfortunately, many recalls in recent years have shown that cars are often sold with big problems. Motorists need to understand what their rights are and an Orange County lemon law attorney can provide assistance to drivers who end up buying cars that have serious issues.

Various things could potentially go wrong with cars, and many of the problems could put motorists in serious jeopardy of harm. Just recently, for example, WHNT 19 reported on an investigation into whether problems with some Ford vehicles are sickening consumers.

Are Drivers Getting Sick Due to Leaking Exhaust?

According to WHNT 19, drivers of Ford Explorer vehicles believe they could be getting sick as a result of their SUVs.  The potential problem, for which hundreds of drivers have already lodged complaints, stems from the possibility that exhaust is leaking into the cabin of the SUV. This exhaust contains carbon monoxide, which may be coming into the vehicle through unsealed seams in the back of the Explorer.

Both consumer complaints and internal documents from Ford suggest that exhaust with carbon monoxide could come into the car when motorists accelerate and they have the air conditioning active and in circulation mode.  Reportedly, Ford has known about problems since 2012, and the car company provided info for dealers back to help the dealers fix the problems. However, a company representative in a 2015 deposition testified that the issue of the leaking exhaust was unresolved.

More than 450 complaints have been made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about problems with vehicles from model years 2011 to 2015.  NHTSA has finally launched an investigation in light of the complaints of motorists falling ill due to carbon monoxide exposure.

Carbon monoxide can do more than just sicken motorists. As WHNT reported, the exposure to this gas may have caused one driver to black out while operating his vehicle. The driver was a police officer in a Ford Explorer cruiser and, while he was blacked out, he crashed into a tree. He does not remember the accident, which left him with traumatic brain injury and other injuries including a fractured eye socket and a dislocated shoulder. He had no drugs or alcohol in his system and doctors believe that the carbon monoxide exposure may have caused him to pass out.  The same thing could happen to other motorists, which would mean that the Ford vehicles present a serious risk to drivers who unexpectedly black out or get sick as a result of the exposure to the noxious gas.

If you have any problem with your car, you should consider your remedies under our existing consumer protection laws. Contact an Orange County lemon law attorney today to find out more about the California Lemon Law. 


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