Just don't call it a recall, because it's officially not.
Last July Ford announced an extremely important repair it had to make to its Police Interceptor Utility Vehicle, the police version of the Explorer. The problem? A possible carbon monoxide leak into the cabin. And now Ford has expanded this repair to 1.4 million North American (civilian) 2011-2017 Explorer owners in order to fully ensure deadly carbon monoxide and other exhaust gases cannot enter the cabin. But wait, isn't this a recall? No. Ford isn't calling it one. It's just a free repair. Got that straight? Good.
To its full credit, Ford immediately began investigating the issue last summer and soon discovered that holes and other unsealed spaces in the rear (for add-ons like emergency lighting and radios) may have been the culprit. A total of 2,700 complaints, three crashes and 41 injuries have been documented in regards to possible carbon monoxide-related Explorer issues, according to Reuters. Ford has stated that its investigation "has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day." Reuters adds, however, that there is no US government standard for in-vehicle carbon monoxide levels.
But just so that every Explorer owner can be 100 percent certain their SUV is safe, Ford will fix 1.3 million US vehicles and 100,000 units in Canada and Mexico for free. Starting November 1, owners can bring their Explorer to a Ford dealer who will reprogram the air conditioner, replace the liftgate drain valves and inspect sealing of the rear of the vehicle. Ford already repaired for free Explorer Police Interceptors, but not before the city of Austin, Texas removed all 400 of them from duty. A reported 20 police officers were found to have elevated levels of carbon monoxide. Fortunately, all of those vehicles have returned to service in Austin after successfully undergoing repairs and testing.