Ford Working To Fix Exhaust Problem In Explorers After 1,300 Complaints

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Letters are on the way to owners of Ford Explorers addressing ongoing concerns about exhaust getting into the passenger compartment.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has an ongoing investigation into complaints about carbon monoxide in the cabins of Explorers. CBS News has investigated the complaints and documented cases where owners claim they were affected by CO while driving.

The letter from Ford tells 2011-2017 Explorer owners the vehicles “are safe,” and that “our investigation has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day.”

Nonetheless, Ford, in an effort to give owners “peace of mind,” is “offering a no charge service that reduces the potential for exhaust to enter the vehicle.”

At Shults Ford in Wexford, Service Director Joe Fiore says the directive from Ford outlines steps “to stop any carbon monoxide from entering the vehicle from the rear.”

Fiore says, “We go through and any open port that has grommets or seals, we reseal them.”

That includes removing the tail lights and resealing where the wiring enters the passenger compartment. The same is true up under the bumper where wiring harnesses enter the cabin, or the seals are installed over manufacturing holes. The crews will reseal the antenna mount on top of the car as well as check the seals around the hatch window, and the tailgate.

Also, the heating and air conditioning system on the Explorer is being reprogrammed. Fiore says the adjustment impacts the re-circulation of air in the vehicle, “and converts it to draw outside air into the car when it senses the car has been stationary for a while.”

Ford estimates the work will take about half a day in the service department and will be done at no charge to the owner.

Shults Ford owner Richard Bazzy points out this is not a recall; instead, “we want to make sure that your concerns about safety, and your peace of mind, is the number one thing for Ford Motor Company and your dealer.”

The dealerships are ready to do the necessary checks and make whatever repairs are needed. The letter suggest owners call their dealership to make an appointment to get the work done. The repairs are available through the end of next year.

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