Ford Explorer Class Action Settlement Reached Over Carbon Monoxide Risks

A Michigan federal court has granted preliminary approval for a class action settlement, resolving allegations that certain Ford Explorer vehicles allowed carbon monoxide to leak into the passenger cabin.

The Ford Explorer settlement was approved (PDF) by U.S. District Judge Terrence G. Berg on April 30, providing compensation for owners of certain model year 2016 to 2017 SUVs that were linked to reports of exhaust entering the vehicle.

Concerns about the potential risk of carbon monoxide entering Ford Explorer passenger cabins first emerged in 2014, and have since been linked to at least 2,400 owner complaints, warranty claims, dealer field reports and legal claims involving 2,051 vehicles.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) first began investigating carbon monoxide complaints in Ford Explorer SUVs in July 2016, after receiving reports of exhaust odors permeating the vehicles.

The investigation was later expanded by the Office of Defect Investigations (ODI), which found there have been at least three auto accidents and 41 injuries linked to the carbon monoxide problem, with those injuries including loss of consciousness, nausea, headaches and light-headedness

Despite claims that Ford appeared to have been aware of the problem for some time, the manufacturer released a press release in 2017 amid mounting pressure to recall the vehicles, claiming the Explorer SUVs were safe and that an internal investigation by auto-maker determined the levels of CO found in the cabins did not exceed levels people are exposed to on a routine and daily basis.

In July 2017, the NHTSA issued a press release to announce that their investigation determined the Explorer carbon monoxide leaks were related to cracked exhaust manifolds, determining the manufacturer should issue a recall and replace the manifolds to protect owners and occupants from deadly gas leaks. However, rather than issuing a recall, Ford announced a complimentary service, which offered a less expensive repair that involves reapplying weather sealant and reprogramming the climate control to prevent carbon monoxide from entering the cabins.

The settlement was announced last week, and will preliminarily resolve a Ford Explorer class action lawsuit filed in Michigan by three plaintiffs.

According to the terms of the agreement, Ford will pay those who currently or previously owned or leased an impacted vehicle up to $125 of the post-warranty repair costs for the inspection and sealing of gaps in the passenger compartment, and will also be responsible for up to $400 of the post warranty repair costs for the installation of a modified exhaust system.

The settlement agreement also approved up to $3.5 million for legal fees and costs, as well as $10,000 service awards for each of the three lead plaintiff’s. A final fairness hearing for the agreement is set for November 15, 2021.

Carbon monoxide exposure is one of the leading causes of poisoning deaths in the U.S., since the toxic gas has no color, odor or taste, lacking irritating factors that typically allow someone to detect it’s presence.

While the vehicle fumes containing carbon monoxide should be more apparent, if individuals fail to leave the vehicle or promptly recognize symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, they may suffer severe injury. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide gas could potentially lead to loss of consciousness, death or permanent brain damage.

Image Credit: Image via IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

50 Comments

  • LindaOctober 13, 2023 at 10:19 pm

    I love my 2017 explore sport that was purchased new January 2017, however I have complained to the ford dealership and to Ford motor company every since I have purchased it about the fumes and my carbon monoxide detector is always going off. They stated they did a patch and that was all they could do and every it goes in for it’s routine service I still complain about it. It’s so bad that wheneve[Show More]I love my 2017 explore sport that was purchased new January 2017, however I have complained to the ford dealership and to Ford motor company every since I have purchased it about the fumes and my carbon monoxide detector is always going off. They stated they did a patch and that was all they could do and every it goes in for it’s routine service I still complain about it. It’s so bad that whenever I jump on the freeway I have to put the windows down and it sucks when it’s raining. So how this issue can be ignored is beyond belief, I couldn’t even get anyone from Ford Motor Company to call me back when I complained. It’s a beautiful car under 20k miles and I can’t enjoy it.

  • RyanOctober 4, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    Ford needs to take action and fix this issue. my wife was riding in the car with our kids and she could smell the exhaust. i thought she was being a little cray but i too smelt it several times now.

  • RayAugust 24, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    2016 Ford Explore Xlt l have similar issue with " Car Monoxide leaking through air cabin, no dealers wants to take responsibility to fix it l have called Ford Motor and all my calls have been ignored .Moreover its getting worse DAY by DAY

  • CaseyAugust 19, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    2017 Ford Explorer XLT and having issues! How do I participate?

  • GaryMay 4, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    I to brought a 2015 Ford Explorer XLT/ AWD, in October of 2021, started smelling fumes a couple of months later, took it in for a recall because of that problem, after taking it in the problem got worse, please add me to your list also.

  • RobertMarch 22, 2022 at 1:43 am

    I used to be a police officer until I got CO poisoning from my Ford Explorer police SUV. I was below critical oxygen levels. I later had CO detectors placed into all of our police SUVs. The lowest reading was in the 30 ppm (parts per million of CO in the air). Cal Osha says 8-9 ppm is safe. Im still trying to get my job back, don't drive Ford.

  • JessicaMarch 15, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    I have a 2014 Ford Explorer and brought my car in to Ford on March 13th, 2018 for the recall. The recall was performed and I wen ton my way. Now beginning in February I started getting a ticking noise. Brought it to my mechanic and he told me that there is a crack on seal (weld) of the exhaust manifold. I contacted Ford recall center at 1-866-436-7332 and they exclaimed to me that because I had re[Show More]I have a 2014 Ford Explorer and brought my car in to Ford on March 13th, 2018 for the recall. The recall was performed and I wen ton my way. Now beginning in February I started getting a ticking noise. Brought it to my mechanic and he told me that there is a crack on seal (weld) of the exhaust manifold. I contacted Ford recall center at 1-866-436-7332 and they exclaimed to me that because I had recall 17N03 already performed and it was out of the parts warranty of 12 months, there is nothing that they can do to repair my car at no cost. The representative said she will look to see if I can qualify for recall 17N05. She came back after a few minutes talking to her manager and said it does not apply to me because I already had the recall performed. How do you not stand by a problem that you already identified as a recall again? I don't understand where to go from here to fight them on fixing their manufacture defect!

  • BettyMarch 9, 2022 at 2:21 am

    Not sure if carbon monoxide is present in my 2016 Ford explorer since carbon monoxide has no smell. I will take vehicle to a ford dealership to have inspection done.

  • OlgaFebruary 8, 2022 at 8:46 am

    I have a 2016 Ford Explorer and have those odors too and have not received any post card yet… I took my truck to the dealer ford and they always tell me I don’t smell it please please help

  • CorneliaFebruary 4, 2022 at 1:08 am

    I own a 2016 Ford Explorer I’ve been sick with sinusitis which could be from the exhaust also truck is down due to the fact that the water pump went out.having so much trouble putting it back together the truck has been down for three months, I wouldn’t advise no one to purchase a Ford Explorer, still have a balance owed on this truck, please help me

  • JorgeJanuary 26, 2022 at 10:49 am

    I have a 2016 and have those odors too and have not received any post card yet…

  • GEORGETTAJanuary 25, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    buying 2017 explorer

  • ZenoJanuary 24, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    Folks, you need to know that Carbon MonOxide does not smell!! That is the danger of it! If you have a smell it would be CarbonDiOxide, but NOT MonOxide. This claim is due to MonOxide and it is a silent killer. They same reason why your homes are required to have Carbon Monoxide Detectors by law if you are wanting to sell it and the homes have to have carbon monoxide detectors...not carbon [Show More]Folks, you need to know that Carbon MonOxide does not smell!! That is the danger of it! If you have a smell it would be CarbonDiOxide, but NOT MonOxide. This claim is due to MonOxide and it is a silent killer. They same reason why your homes are required to have Carbon Monoxide Detectors by law if you are wanting to sell it and the homes have to have carbon monoxide detectors...not carbon dioxide. Know the difference!

  • JORGEJanuary 24, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    I own a ford explorer and I can smell it , but did not know what it was till now .

  • JesseJanuary 24, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    I bought a used 2017 Ford explore what is my next step and adding my name to this lawsuit

  • DarcieJanuary 24, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    My son owned a 2017 ford explorer. It killed my son and his best friend. All because of your greed. Had you fixed the problem when you had been made aware they would still be here.MUDERERS!!!

  • RuthJanuary 24, 2022 at 10:36 am

    I have a 2016 explorer and consently have an odor. What can I do.

  • DonyaOctober 1, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    I have a 2017 Ford Explorer and just had my exhaust system replaced. I did receive the Post Card. Just wondering what's the next step

  • JamieSeptember 10, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Mother of 5 kids under 7 years old and my car also has this to the point my kids get sick !

  • JonathanAugust 27, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    I also have a 2017. Cant drive this thing for long periods because its so bad.. Ive literally had smoke come from my vents merging onto the hwy. The more gas i give the worse it gets. I wont even take the kids in this vehicle. Its gotten worse. I arrived home the other day a felt horrible. I guess i was speaking abnormally to the point where my wife asked if i had a stroke or something. I just put[Show More]I also have a 2017. Cant drive this thing for long periods because its so bad.. Ive literally had smoke come from my vents merging onto the hwy. The more gas i give the worse it gets. I wont even take the kids in this vehicle. Its gotten worse. I arrived home the other day a felt horrible. I guess i was speaking abnormally to the point where my wife asked if i had a stroke or something. I just put 2 and 2 together and is this why i feel so bad by time i gey to work i leave early? Cant eat when i get home.. Cant sleep nor think straight? Ive fallen asleep at red lights and it was only for the person honking next to me that i came to and didnt roll out into oncoming traffic. So many things make since now. Be careful this is truly scary.. Ive even passed smooth out after pulling in my driveway while sittng in the vehicle trying to reflect backnon the day. Wow.. I may as well habe a garden hose hooked up to this thing. Im sorry but repairing a vehicle wouldnt bring backbthe brain cells ive lost in this thing. How do i file a personal suit? Or who do i contact? What type of attorney?

  • trishaAugust 22, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    i too have a 2015 with the same issues. they said they repaired it but nothing helped. feel sick every day driving this car please add me to this list

  • CarrieAugust 15, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    I have an explorer 2016. Shortly after buying it, I was smelling exhaust fumes. I reported it to the service Dept and was told there was nothing wrong with my vehicle that they have had problems with police vehicles that was due to alterations needed for their vehicles. I have to drive with my windows cracked all the time or I get very sleepy.

  • LuzAugust 2, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    I have a ford Explorer 2017 how can I participate in the claim

  • TammieJuly 27, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    I HAVE A SMELL , LIKE SOMETHING IS BURNING AS WELL, VERY STRONG. JUST PAID 2800 DOLLARS FOR REPAIRS ON A 2016 WITH ONLY 60,000 MILES ON IT.

  • EdnaJuly 27, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    I purchased a new 2017 Ford Explorer and I notice the smell coming from the vehicle when I start it up. I drove it into the dealership, Lakeside Ford in Ferriday Louisiana, where I purchased it and the part was replaced. As of today, the smell is still there when I start up the vehicle.

  • SylvainJuly 26, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    Nothing but problems with our Explorer 2016 since we’ve gotten it.

  • CharlesJuly 22, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    I bought a new 2016 ford explorer and I smell something all the time

  • AliceJuly 21, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    I recieved a post card concerning the exhaust of my 2017 Ford Explorer. Want to make sure my car isn't affected by this. And if it is I want to be able to get it fixed without having to pay out of my pocket.

  • KristalJuly 19, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    I myself have had a leak that smells of carbon monoxide. Always wondered why it was only in my truck.

  • ginaJuly 19, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    leased a 2017 explorer

  • MatthewJuly 19, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    Nothing but issues with check engine light and odors when starting the car. Also makes noise like a rumbling. Has been in and out of the shop these past two months more than five times. They always say it’s something else

  • CarolynJuly 19, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    Smell fumes in my 2017 Ford Exployer

  • RodneyJuly 19, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    I have a 2016 explorer, have noticed a faint smell from time to time!

  • AlexandraJuly 19, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    I when twice to ford in Laredo ask for this we sometimes smell gas. But they told me my car was good. The roof problem was for the beginning. They until today said my car is good . And the car had multiples problems. Is ford explorer 2016. Is not just the smell is a lot i was in the point f practically lost my life becuse the stair wheel looked and i was on a bridge . Just God's intervention he[Show More]I when twice to ford in Laredo ask for this we sometimes smell gas. But they told me my car was good. The roof problem was for the beginning. They until today said my car is good . And the car had multiples problems. Is ford explorer 2016. Is not just the smell is a lot i was in the point f practically lost my life becuse the stair wheel looked and i was on a bridge . Just God's intervention help me not to fly out the bridge. Is a terrible csr and terrible company

  • NancyJuly 19, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    My Ford Explorer had a bad smell, I took it to my Ford dealer 2 times . Still smelled bad.

  • HankJuly 19, 2021 at 12:57 am

    I own a 2016 Ford Explorer. Please add me to the Law Suit.

  • DianeJuly 18, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    The costs for repairs are not sufficient to cover repairs and labor. At my local Ford, it’s $200 an hour just for labor.

  • ErnestJuly 18, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    I own a 2017 Ford Explorer Limited, Is my vehicle impacted by this class action suit?

  • ShalimarJuly 18, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    Currently driving 2013 explorer and becoming ill after long time exposer..

  • BrendaJuly 18, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    I just purchased a 2017 Ford Explorer.

  • Manuel AlexanderJuly 18, 2021 at 12:51 am

    Andaba con mi familia y sentimos un extraño olor en el vehículo dentro recorrimos como tres hora en el camino mi esposa sintió un fuerte dolor de cabeza mis hijos i yo estábamos aturdido me siento inseguro en mi vehículo Ford Explorer 2016

  • DonaldJuly 17, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    Owned a 2016 Ford Explorer Sport, drove extensively for business, became very ill due to carbon monoxide which has been documented medically. Ford denied that they had an issue, Only discovered what was causing my un diagnosed illness after seeing multiple police cars at Ford dealership and asked service technician why so many cop explorers in service, thats when he told me of exhaust and carbon m[Show More]Owned a 2016 Ford Explorer Sport, drove extensively for business, became very ill due to carbon monoxide which has been documented medically. Ford denied that they had an issue, Only discovered what was causing my un diagnosed illness after seeing multiple police cars at Ford dealership and asked service technician why so many cop explorers in service, thats when he told me of exhaust and carbon monoxide issues.

  • WashingtonJuly 17, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    I have this problem since I bought my 2016 ford explorer, but I did not know that it was due to this problem, but it does not become more serious and it can be solved without any damage!

  • JamesJuly 17, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    I am wondering if my 2017 Explorer is part of this lawsuit?

  • TiffaneeJuly 17, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    We smell fumes in ours and it’s a 2017.

  • JayJuly 17, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    I traded my Ford Explorer because of carbon monoxide concerns.

  • JeannieJuly 17, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    I had a 2016 Ford Explorer w check engine light 2day after I bought it . All my gault didn’t work and they wouldn’t fix it there was a lot of thing wrong it . I love Ford but I won’t buy other one

  • RochellJuly 17, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    I am trying a 2016 Ford explorer and have been experiencing problem with my vehicle and I was also giving a claim #

  • Maria DJuly 17, 2021 at 5:15 am

    Tengo una ford explorer 2016 espero no tenga mas defectos porque si es así no hay seguridad

  • MaribelJune 17, 2021 at 12:24 am

    How can I add my self to this lawsuit I have a 2015 ford explorer that can not be driven because the smell of the fumes are so bad that it gets my family sick.

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Baby Food Injury Lawyers Appointed To Leadership Roles in Autism, ADHD Lawsuits Over Heavy Metal Contamination
Baby Food Injury Lawyers Appointed To Leadership Roles in Autism, ADHD Lawsuits Over Heavy Metal Contamination (Posted today)

A group of 19 plaintiffs' lawyers have been appointed to serve in various leadership position during the consolidated pretrial proceedings for all baby food injury lawsuits, taking actions that benefit all families pursuing claims for children diagnosed with autism, ADHD or other developmental problems from toxic heavy metals found in many popular products sold in recent years.

Court Allows Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits To Be Filed in Bundled Complaint by June 14, 2024
Court Allows Suboxone Tooth Decay Lawsuits To Be Filed in Bundled Complaint by June 14, 2024 (Posted 3 days ago)

A federal judge is allowing plaintiffs to file large numbers of Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits in one bundled complaint, to meet a potential two-year statute of limitations deadline, with the ability to flesh those claims out in more detail at a later date.