The Ford Explorer Cabin Exhaust Leak May Have Caused A Police Crash


More troubling is the fact that repair bulletins haven't managed to fix the issue.

According to the NHTSA, the ongoing spate of incidents where Ford Explorers built between 2011 and 2015 leak exhaust gasses into the passenger compartment has so far not caused a single injury, but when CBS News took a ride along with Newport Beach Police Department, it found evidence suggesting otherwise. According to customer complaints, which have gone from 154 to over 450 since an NHTSA investigation launched, the problem is first apparent when the smell of sulfur begins to infiltrate the cabin.

The gas leak is most likely to occur when the engine is under load, such as when climbing a hill or accelerating, and when the air conditioning is on and set to the recirculation setting. Police officer Brian McDowell claims that the issue is what led to him to crash a 2014 Police Interceptor Utility model into a tree when responding to a non-emergency call. According to the dash cam footage, the officer lost consciousness for an unknown reason and drove into a tree, dislocating his shoulder, fracturing his eye socket, and causing traumatic brain injury. McDowell has no memory of the incident and when alcohol and drug tests came up clean, doctors weren’t sure why McDowell had passed out.

You Might Also Like
Riding In Mad Mike's 800hp 'BadBul' Drift Mazda RX-8 Was Incredible
Riding In Mad Mike's 800hp 'BadBul' Drift Mazda RX-8 Was Incredible
Why We Really Need Supercars
Why We Really Need Supercars

Then McDowell heard about the issues Ford has been having with keeping its toxic exhaust out of the cabin and filed a complaint. While Ford has known about the issue for some time and has attempted to fix it by posting three repair bulletins, some who have taken their Explorers in for the fix claim that the repair doesn’t remedy the problem. In 2015, the automaker filed a deposition acknowledging that the flaw is a design issue and is working on a fix. A concerned NBPD has installed carbon monoxide sensors inside patrol units and has worryingly found that some detectors are going off. This doesn’t bode well for the automaker, which has had high profile safety issues in the past.

These include exploding gas tanks in the Ford Pinto and similar issues issues with fires in the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, but more concerning is the fact that the exhaust problem may still be growing given that some customer complaints have involved new 2016 and 2017 Explorer models. We’ll keep you updated as the NHTSA and Ford work to determine how to fix these issues but for now, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to shop for some carbon monoxide detectors.

5 Things You Need To Know About The 2019 BMW X5

After driving the car for the first time, here are our key takeaways.

Watch The BMW M2 Competition Lap The Ring In 7:52

That was supercar territory not long ago.

Kim Jong-un Gets Classy With New Ride

So much for sanctions.

Drifting A 1,000-HP Corvette On Mountain Roads Takes Some Serious Skill

Thought drifting the entire Nurburgring was challenging? Try it in a 1,000-hp Corvette on a mountain road with no safety rails.

Hennessey Heritage Edition Ford Truck Makes More Power Than Anything You’ve Got

This crazy beast is even more powerful than the Ford GT.

Ford Imagines A Future With No Traffic Lights

Stopping at junctions could be a thing of the past in the future.

One-Off Ferrari 330GT Speciale Is A 50-Year-Old Dream Come True

This stunning coachbuilding project is a tribute to legendary Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti.

Students Create 600-HP Honda Civic Hybrid Rallycross Machine

Deep Orange 9 is our kind of school project.

Is The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Way More Powerful Than Advertised?

Jaguar claims the super sedan has 592 horsepower under the hood.

What's Hot

Related Cars

Starting MSRP

Related Reviews

First Look: Ford Explorer EcoBoost
First Look
First Look: Ford Explorer EcoBoost
2016 Ford Explorer Review: We Learned Why Buyers Find It So Seductive
Test Drive
2016 Ford Explorer Review: We Learned Why Buyers Find It So Seductive
2017 Ford Explorer SUV Review
Ford Explorer SUV
2017 Ford Explorer SUV Review