When plaintiff Mary Boatner drove her brand new 2017 Ford Explorer from Alabama to Michigan, to visit her sister, she didn’t expect it to make her sick—but according to the complaint, she smelled a chemical odor in the car that she could not get rid of even when she rolled down the windows. When she arrived, fourteen hours later, and for several days afterwards, the complaint says, she had fatigue, nausea, restlessness, and lack of focus. When the symptoms had not subsided a week later, she was admitted to the hospital for three days and told that her carbon monoxide levels were “high normal.”
The three classes for this action include the following:
According to the complaint, Ford knew that some of its vehicles permitted carbon monoxide and other components of exhaust to enter the passenger compartment. Its Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 12-12-4 is entitled “Explorer Exhaust Odor in Vehicle” and gives instructions to prevent the odor in 2011-2013 Explorers. Its TSB 14-0130, entitled “Exhaust Odor in Vehicle” acknowledges that 2014-2015 models may also have the problem, repeats the earlier instructions, and adds others.
However, according to the complaint, the instructions outlined in these TSBs do not correct the condition or acknowledge that the “exhaust” entering the vehicles includes the lethal gas carbon monoxide. The complaint also alleges that Ford has received many complaints about the same problem in 2016-2017 Explorers, and that although it has developed a means of supposedly fixing the problem, it has not sent notice to owners or lessors of these vehicles.
In addition, the complaint claims that Ford has discovered the same problems in its 2007-2014 Edge and 2007-2015 MKX vehicles and has prepared but not distributed TSBs on the problem in these cars as well.
The complaint alleges that all of these cars were sold or leased in a dangerous and defective condition, because design flaws, exhaust, and/or HVAC systems permit carbon monoxide and other substances to enter the passenger compartment of the vehicles during normal operation.