• Ford Says 2011-2017 Explorers Are Safe, But Will Fix Them Anyway

Customer concerns over leaking exhaust fumes cited as reason behind voluntary servicing

The Ford Explorer recently made headlines due to exhaust fumes entering the cabin and making people nauseous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received more than 2,400 reports on the issue, with at least 41 citing injuries and three reporting crashes due to the ill effects of the carbon monoxide fumes on the 2011 through 2017 Explorer. However, investigations by the NHTSA and Ford turned up no significant changes in CO levels in the cabin. Well, except for Police Interceptor models. Ford says the issue stems from aftermarket up-fit companies leaving unsealed holes from the installation of police equipment. Still, Ford says it will fix any of the 1.3 million affected Explorers at the owner’s request, despite Ford calling the vehicles safe.

Ford’s voluntary service is free to Explorer owners regardless of the warranty status or vehicle mileage. The fix includes reprogramming the air conditioner, replacing the liftgate drain valves, and inspecting the sealing of the rear of the vehicle. Ford dealerships will begin offering this service starting November 1, 2017, and will continue through December 31, 2018. Of the Explorers built in that 2011 through 2017 timeframe, roughly 1.3 million are in the U.S., 84,000 are in Canada, and 24,000 are in Mexico.

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters

It’s interesting that Ford is offering to inspect and replace parts on these 2011 through 2017 Explorers despite it claiming the vehicles are safe. Perhaps Ford is taking the high road and catering to its customers’ feelings of security and safety. Or, Ford could know there is an issue and is trying to downplay the situation. Who knows? Speculation aside, it certainly is a sign of good faith for Ford to voluntarily inspect and replace items on every 2011 through 2017 Explorer in North America.

What do you think? Is Ford trying to scoot by or is the automaker making an honest attempt at consoling its customers’ fears of carbon monoxide poisoning? Let us know in the comments below.


Ford Explorer

2016 Ford Explorer High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Explorer.

2017 Ford Explorer – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full driven review on the 2017 Ford Explorer.

Source: Ford

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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Press Releasee


DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 13, 2017 – Ford is aware that some 2011-17 Explorer owners have concerns about exhaust or carbon monoxide. These vehicles are safe. Our investigation has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day.

However, for our customers’ peace of mind, Ford is offering a complimentary service that reduces the potential for exhaust to enter the vehicle. Customers can take their vehicles, regardless of mileage or warranty status, to a Ford dealer to have this service performed, starting Nov. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2018.

To be clear, other carbon monoxide concerns in Police Interceptor Utilities are related to unsealed holes from the installation of police equipment by third parties after the vehicle was purchased.

This action involves approximately 1.3 million vehicles in the United States, 84,000 in Canada and 24,000 in Mexico. The Ford reference number for this service is 17N03.

To reduce the potential for exhaust to enter the vehicle, dealers will reprogram the air conditioner, replace the liftgate drain valves and inspect sealing of the rear of the vehicle at no cost to the customer.

Customers with questions also can call a dedicated hotline at 888.260.5575.

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