NHTSA Investigates Ford Explorer Exhaust Leaks

NHTSA Investigates Ford Explorer Exhaust Leaks

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ford explorer exhaust leak

NHTSA Investigates Ford Explorer Exhaust Leaks

In July 2016, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating 2011-2015 Ford Explorers after 154 complaints were made regarding exhaust fume leaks inside the vehicles. Drivers noticed a distinct sulfur-like smell inside the car that caused concern about exposure to carbon-monoxide.

One reported instance led to a crash. Newport Beach Police Officer Brian McDowell was behind the wheel of his 2014 Ford Explorer police cruiser when he began to feel nauseous and noticed the beginning of a headache. Moments later, he passed out and crashed into a tree. He suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured eye socket and traumatic brain injury, but retains no memory of the accident. After reading about other Ford Explorer exhaust leak reports with the NHTSA, he believes he was exposed to carbon monoxide which contributed to him losing consciousness.

According to the NHTSA, Ford issued a technical service bulletin in 2014 (TSB 14-0130), superseding a 2012 (TSB 12-2-4) service bulletin, to address seemingly related issues. Most consumers reported little to no improvement after the remedy.

If you have a later model Ford Explorer and notice the smell of exhaust while driving your vehicle, please stop driving immediately. This is an ongoing investigation so we encourage you to file a vehicle safety complaint with the NHTSA. Learn how to file a complaint here.

If you’ve been injured, contact us immediately.

 

Ford issues six recalls covering 380,000 vehicles

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Auto Recall Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Ford issues six recalls covering 380,000 vehicles

Ford Motor Co. has issued six new recalls covering more than 380,000 vehicles for a variety of different defects.

The largest recall covers 342,000 previously recalled older Windstar vehicles for a rear axle inspection. Corrosion and stress can lead to cracks in the axle, and if undetected, the axle could crack completely. In the previous recall, a rear axle reinforcement bracket was installed, but a bracket installed incorrectly could limit the effectiveness of the repair. There have been reports of crashes as a result, but no reported injuries. Dealers will inspect all of the brackets to determine if they were correctly installed. If they were not, the axle will be replaced free of charge. If the axle was correctly installed, owners will be given an incentive to replace their rear axle at a reduced cost. The offer is valid for one year with unlimited mileage.

The second recall covers 37,000 2015 F-150 trucks for a potential problem with the adaptive cruise control. If the affected vehicles pass a large highly reflective truck, the adaptive cruise control radar could potentially incorrectly identify the truck as being in the F-150’s lane. This could result in the vehicle’s automated brakes being applied until the large reflective truck passes. The defect could increase the risk of an accident, especially a rear-end collision. There has been one reported crash related to the defect. As a remedy, dealers will update the adaptive cruise control module software.

The four other smaller recalls announced include:

-1,500 2016 Ford F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis vehicles were recalled due to a defect with the shift control bracket. The bracket could have been manufactured incorrectly and could result in the vehicle not shifting to reverse without applying the brakes. As a result, there could be unintended vehicle movement increasing the chance of accident or injury. Dealers will replace the transmission shift control bracket and adjust the shift cable.

-700 2016 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles were recalled due to a fuel tank issue. The fuel tank could have been manufactured incorrectly and could crack during a crash, violating U.S. safety standards. Dealers will replace the fuel tank free of charge.

-250 2015 Ford Tarus and Lincoln MKS vehicles, and 2016 Ford Explorer vehicles are being recalled due to fuel tank attachment bolt issues. The bolts have potential to not be tightened properly which could result in the fuel tank straps breaking. This would in turn result in the fuel tank separating from the vehicle and could cause a fuel leak or fire. Dealers will tighten the loose bolts as a remedy.

-70 2001-2008 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner vehicles with a re-manufactured transmission have been recalled due to a possible loose shift control lever bolt. There is a possibility that the shift lever bolt was not tightened correctly, which could cause the shift lever to disengage from the transmission without any warning. As a result, the vehicle could lose transmission gear selection and could roll away increasing risk of crash and potential injuries. There have been no accidents reported related to this issue. As a remedy, dealers will ensure that the shift control lever bolt is tightened correctly.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective vehicle, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Ford Recalls 400,000 Vehicles for Not Turning Off

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Ignition Switch Attorney - Lance Cooper

Ford Recalls 400,000 Vehicles for Not Turning Off

Ford is recalling 400,000 vehicles because of a defect that could cause the vehicles to keep running after the ignition switch is off.

It’s not something you expect to hear every day, and certainly not after the GM debacle last year with ignition switches shutting off while the vehicle was driving down the road. But you heard correctly, new Ford vehicles are being recalled for a defect which could cause them to not shut off. The defect could cause the engine to run even after the ignition switch is turned to the “off” position and the key is removed. It can also stay on after pressing the start/stop button on the dash.

The affected vehicles include 433,000 model year 2015 Focus, C-Max and Escape vehicles. As a remedy the company will be replacing or updating the body control module software. Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the recall.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective vehicle, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Ford Recalls Vehicles for Fuel Tank and Steering Problems

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Air Bag Defect Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Ford Recalls Vehicles for Fuel Tank and Steering Problems

Ford has issued two new recalls for potential steering problems and fuel leaks.

The first recall affects 423,000 vehicles in North America for a possible defect in an electrical connection in the steering gear which could cause a loss of electric power steering. The recall covers 2011-2013 models of Ford Tarus and Flex, 2011-2013 Lincoln MKS and MKT, 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ Sedans and the 2011 Mercury Milan. With a loss of electric power steering, the vehicle would have to be driven in manual which is more difficult to steer, and could potentially cause an accident. There have been four minor accidents with no injuries reported related to the defect. Vehicles can be taken to dealership for either a software update on the power steering control module or replacement of the steering gear.

The second recall affects 19,500 2015 Ford Mustangs with 2.5 liter engines. The underbody of the vehicle can overheat causing the fuel tank and vapor lines to degrade. This can result in a fuel leak and in turn cause a fire. There is also a chance that the parking brake cable seals could be damaged. As a remedy dealers will replace the fuel tank shield with one that has better insulation. They will also install thermal patches on the fuel tank and parking brake cable and put thermal wraps on the fuel vapor lines. No fires or injuries have been reported.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective vehicle or product, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Source: USA Today

Ford Recalls 400,000 Vehicles for Latch Issue

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Safety First - The Cooper Firm

Ford Recalls 400,000 Vehicles for Latch Issue

Ford issued a recall for nearly 400,000 vehicles due to a latch issue, which could cause the door to open while the vehicle is in motion. The recall comes nearly seven months after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into thousands of Ford vehicles for a latch problem. The door latch may experience a broken pawl spring tab which can cause the door not to latch. As a result, the door can open while the vehicle is in motion increasing the risk of injury.

The recall includes 389,585 model year 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta, model year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles. After the initial investigation NHTSA opened, less than two months ago, NHTSA upgraded the investigation to include the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles. NHTSA also upgraded probe to an engineering analysis. This step often leads to a recall.

Before the recall, NHTSA had received 207 reports related to the latching issue. Out of the reports, 65 reports had claims that the door or doors opened while the vehicle was in motion. Ford has stated that it was aware of the allegations. Since the investigation, Ford has provided NTHSA with 451 additional reports and 1,079 warranty claims related to the latch issue. Ford said that the defective vehicles were produced at plants in Mexico. Out of the recalled vehicles, 86% are registered in the United States. The rest are in Canada and Mexico.

If you own one of these affected vehicles, Ford will replace all four doors free of charge.

If you or someone you know was injured by a defective product or vehicle, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

***(May 1, 2015) Ford recently expanded the recall to include 156,000 more vehicles.

Source: The Consumerist

Ford Vehicles Will Automatically Slow Down With Speed Limit Signs

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Vehicle Safety Technology Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Ford Vehicles Will Automatically Slow Down With Speed Limit Signs

Ford plans on selling vehicles that will read road signs and adjust speed to prevent speeding. The technology is intended to help drivers to avoid fines and reduce car crashes.

The system is coined as the Intelligent Speed Limiter (ISL) and combines two existing technologies that many vehicles already have. The adjustable speed limiter detects how fast a vehicle is moving by sensors mounted in the vehicle’s wheels. Once the vehicle reaches a certain speed, instead of applying the brakes, the sensor will limit the amount of fuel that reaches the engine. The second technology ISL uses is traffic sign recognition. This system uses a camera facing forward on the vehicle’s windshield to scan for road signs and alert the driver. ISL can be activated on the steering wheel and can be overridden by pressing the accelerator.

As networks and autonomous vehicles continue to develop, there is potential that the speed limit will not be addressed by signs, but vehicles will slow and speed up based on the vehicle’s computer system and the network in which it’s connected.

The new technology will be available August 2015 in Ford’s second generation S-Max in Europe. A spokesperson from Ford said the technology will eventual expand across the world and the United States.

Although some drivers will be against giving their vehicle speed control, others will appreciate the convenience and safety it brings.

Source: BBC News

Ford Recalls Police Cars, Ambulances, Hearses, Limos and SUVs

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Auto Recall Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Ford Recalls Police Cars, Ambulances, Hearses, Limos and SUVs

Ford announced a recall of over 220,000 vehicles in North America for three different issues including door handles, vacuum pump relays and sensors.

The first recall affects 212,911 Ford Explorer SUV’s and Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicles from model years 2011 to 2013 for a defect which could cause a spring that controls the interior door handle to come loose. The door could become unlatched during a side-impact crash which could increase the risk of injury. There have been no injuries or accidents reported. Dealers will inspect each door and repair the springs at no cost. Ford issued a recall for 195,000 Ford Tarus sedans and Lincoln MKS luxury cars for the same defect earlier this year, but has expanded the recall after it found the same component in other vehicles.

The second recall affects 1,725 Lincoln MKT limo and hearse vehicles from model years 2013 to 2015 for a vacuum pump relay issue that could cause a fire under the hood. There have been two fires that Ford is aware of, but no related injuries. Dealers will replace the vacuum pump relay and related wiring for free.

The third recall affects 6,472 F-Series Super Duty ambulance vehicles from model years 2011 to 2013 and similar vehicles with 6.7-liter diesel engines from model years 2014 to 2015 for an exhaust gas temperature sensor issue which may fail to correctly identify a high temperature condition in the vehicle. Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the recall. Ford dealers will be updating the software on the recalled vehicles for free.

If you own a Ford vehicle, visit Ford’s recall search database to see if your vehicle has an open recall. Ford has issued more than five recalls since the beginning of the year on thousands of vehicles.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a product defect or auto accident, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.
Source: CNBC

NHTSA Revisits a 2013 Ford Recall

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

NHTSA Revisits a 2013 Ford Recall After Additional Complaints

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is revisiting a 2013 recall of Ford’s largest pickup trucks. The original recall was to fix a stalling problem, but was limited to 3,000 trucks used as ambulances. After 30 complaints from drivers on NHTSA’s website, the safety agency has decided to investigate whether the recall should be expanded to include nearly 197,000 additional pickups which are not used as ambulances.

The newly appointed administrator of NHTSA, Mark Rosekind, told reporters that the number of recalls in the U.S. this year could pass last year’s record breaking 60 million. He announced the Ford ‘recall query’ a day later. Recall queries are not common, even though the agency initiates many investigations. Because of the intense criticism NHTSA received last year for not acting on safety problems early enough, the agency seems to be taking a more aggressive stance. Mr. Rosekind told senators at his confirmation hearing that he wants to put a larger emphasis on examining consumer complaints which have jumped to 75,000 from 45,000 a year.

With the recall query, the agency will be looking into the F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 with 6.7-liter V8 diesel engines. Many of the complaints shared instances where there was sudden loss of power while driving. Because most of these vehicles tow large trailers or carry emergency patients, stalling could create a huge risk, even to other drivers.

Hopefully, NHTSA works faster than it has in the past and recall the vehicles promptly.

Source: The New York Times.

Ford recalls SUVs due to drivers accidentally shutting them off

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Vehicle Safety Technology Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Ford recalls SUVs due to drivers accidentally shutting them off

Ford has issued a recall for 13,500 2015 Lincoln MKC due to drivers accidentally shutting the vehicle off. Drivers are accidentally pushing the ignition button while the car is driving which could create a potential hazard. Due to the MKC having buttons to change gears in the car instead of a gear shift, drivers are reaching for the “S” button for sport mode and are hitting the start-stop button. The start-stop button is adjacent to sport mode. General Motors faced a similar struggle this year with cars accidentally shutting off due to a faulty ignition switch. There were 42 deaths related to the ignition switch defect.

Due to the start-stop button being so close to the touch screen with radio controls, Bluetooth phone control, and navigation system, it can be difficult for drivers to push the correct button while driving. One report included a driver who mistakenly pushed the ‘start-stop’ button while driving. The car came to a fast stop similar to him slamming the brakes.

Ford plans on moving the location of the ‘start-stop’ button and reprograming the powertrain controls as a remedy to the recall. No accidents or injuries have been reported relating to the problem.

Ford also announced a second recall on the same day for over 12,000 2015 Lincoln MKC and 2014 Ford Escape for an issue with the nickel plating on the fuel pump. The pump can clutch causing the vehicle to stall out while being driven. The fuel pump could cause the vehicle to not start as well. No accident or injuries have been reported as of yet, but Ford stated that both recalls could be a serious hazard.

Source: USA Today, CNN

Auto Safety Concerns Often Stay Secret

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Safety First - The Cooper Firm

Auto concerns often stay secret from public

Herman Ray Evans was killed in a fatal accident when the tread on his 2001 Ford Explorer‘s tire separated and the vehicle rolled into the median and he was ejected. His case was one of fifteen fatal tire-related crashes just last year in Ford Explorers and mercury Mountaineers. Although no fault was found with the tire maker or Ford Motor, from April 2002-2009 there were nearly 374 deaths like this one in older models of the Explorer and Mountaineer. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and Ford Motor neither responded nor recalled the vehicles.

Ford later said that the NHTSA found the Explorer had “no unique tire issues” and “numerous government safety agencies and independent organizations” have confirmed the vehicles safety. Although all companies are required to tell the National Highway and Safety Administration about claims it receives for serious injuries or deaths in its vehicles, this information is only available to the public and media through a Freedom of Information Act request, which manufacturers can still request the information to be kept confidential.

Great amounts of time can go by where the public is unaware of the problems. Ford is not the only example this issue can be found. Hyundai recalled its Veracruz and Santa Fe vehicles in August of 2011 because their airbags might not inflate in crash. No public investigation or incidents were made. Evenflo and NHTSA recalled more than 1 million Discovery child car seats in 2008, but consumers were unaware that the agency had been testing the seats for nearly a year, because of concerns on how the seats held up in crash test.

Keeping a formal investigation hidden or delaying it can save manufacturers bad press, especially if the investigation doesn’t lead to a recall, but the question is, when should the public be made aware of the problems that these automakers are having?

Source: USA Today. “Auto safety concerns often stay secret.” By Jay O’Donnell, February 22, 2013.


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