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U.S. Expands Probe Into Ford Explorers Over Carbon Monoxide Concerns

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2018 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Sixonemale, July 28, 2017.

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    1. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    3. Albert (CO Toxicologist)

      Albert (CO Toxicologist) New Member

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      The CO level inside a vehicle should be no more than outside, which is usually <1ppm except in heavy traffic, tunnels or garages when the air around your vehicle may have 5-35 ppm.

      You cannot rely on EPA's average outdoor limits of 9 ppm over 8 hours and 35 ppm over 1 hour because these were set in 1971, before catalytic converters, when the actual 8-hour and 1-hour CO levels in most cities were HIGHER.

      As a result, non-smokers living in cities in the 1970s were much better habituated and more tolerant of CO--as smokers still are--compared to non-smokers today who are habituated to only 1 or 2 ppm in ambient air, and so much more likely to suffer symptoms from repeated exposures in the 9 to 35 ppm range. People start absorbing CO as soon as the level they inhale exceeds the level they exhale. (CO exposures below the level you exhale may still be absorbed via your skin, eyes, nose, and ears, just not via your lungs.)
       
      Last edited: September 18, 2017
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    4. Albert (CO Toxicologist)

      Albert (CO Toxicologist) New Member

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      I agree that CO may be leaking from a cracked manifold or just from the tailpipe, but either way it is entering the vehicle via the many holes and seams that Ford left unsealed around the rear end and underbody.

      if the CO leak is at the manifold prior to the catalytic converter, the CO level is typically 100 times higher (from 20,000 to 50,000ppm, or 2-5%), compared to under 200ppm when the catalytic converter is working properly. But depending on conditions (worse under cold start, for example), untreated exhaust can have over 1000x more CO.
       
    5. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      My only issue with your hypothesis is that, although it is possible for vehicles to have QC issues, the probability of that happening over tens of thousands or hundreds of thousand of vehicles over several years has to be statistically low. If it isn't, then one would think the issue would appear in other Ford vehicles using similar assembly procedures/components/materials, and even at other manufacturers.
       
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    6. Albert (CO Toxicologist)

      Albert (CO Toxicologist) New Member

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      You would think Ford would have fixed such obvious design and assembly flaws sooner, but what if Ford deliberately made the choice not to in the early years (before the NHTSA investigation opened) as the result of some cost benefit analysis?

      Sealing seams and holes correctly takes a lot of human time (especially if pressure tested afterwards) and this makes it expensive.

      That Ford still has not equipped its dealers with CO detectors is proof that it is not trying very hard to find and fix the problem
       
      Last edited: September 18, 2017
    7. supr squirrel

      supr squirrel Elite Explorer

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      I think you missed touching on the most important part (at least to me) of Kay's post. If not sealing seams was such a cost saving measure in the assembly of the Explorer and that's what is leading to this issue, wouldn't this issue likely carry over to other Ford vehicles as well? If it saves you money on building 'vehicle A' it's safe to assume the same cost saving measure would be present in manufacturing vehicles B, C, D and E as well, right? Yet this problem seems to be isolated to just one model...the Explorer.

      Not trying to argue with you, just thought that part of her comment seemed fairly important.
       
    8. Halford1

      Halford1 Member

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      Why not have Ford install a new gauge for CO?
       
    9. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      What you are suggesting is VW clean diesel/Takata airbag/GM ignition switch levels of audacity. I hope you are wrong...
       
    10. Albert (CO Toxicologist)

      Albert (CO Toxicologist) New Member

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      I agree that Kay raises an important question, and the most obvious place to look for similar problems would be from the Chicago plant where the Explorers are assembled. According to Wikipedia, the plant also makes Taurus and Lincoln MKS. Both are large sedans with long trunks-- but without the Explorer's large vertical rear end -- so even if Ford's workers left the same percentage of body seams and holes on these cars unsealed, I would not expect sedans to entrain as much exhaust as the Explorer simply because they don't generate as much draft at any speed. So even if the Chicago plant has systemic problems with seam sealing, I would expect a much smaller percent of these sedan owners would be reporting "exhaust odor" complaints.
      Google can only find a few. See for example:
      http://www.carproblemzoo.com/lincoln/mkx/engine-exhaust-system-problems.php
       
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    11. Albert (CO Toxicologist)

      Albert (CO Toxicologist) New Member

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      If you add the Ford Pinto to your list, my suggestion is not so far fetched. I also hope I am wrong, but either way, Ford now has a much bigger problem than if they'd taken this seriously in 2011 when it was first reported.
       
    12. Jon M

      Jon M Elite Explorer

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      I agree. Plus, if this were truly a big part of the problem, it wouldn't be such a small percentage of vehicles with the issue. If this were some sort of cost saving/take a chance issue, I'd think it would be happening on a lot more vehicles, even it is just in the Explorer.
       
    13. Sixonemale

      Sixonemale Active Member

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      Not super familiar with how the major auto manufacturers make the determination of a safety Recall, but I can't imagine this occurred "what if Ford deliberately made the choice not to in the early years (before the NHTSA investigation opened) as the result of some cost benefit analysis?". I'm not an attorney, but this would seem to fall in the willful category of the law, which I think could be more severe than just a civil penalty.

      I completely agree that this problem should have been addressed with an internal engineering analysis back in 2011/2012 time frame when it surfaced and dealt with appropriately. I'm guessing now that if there is a recall, all manifolds and exhaust systems would have to be inspected and fixed on a case by case basis as well as an inspection of the rear end for areas that may need sealant added, etc. If no Recall, resale may be a bit tough for an owner to unequivocally state that his or her particular Explorer does not have an exhaust issue without proper documentation from Ford stating that the vehicle has either had a Recall performed or passed a rigorous inspection.
       
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    14. Jon M

      Jon M Elite Explorer

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      Sometimes, companies make the decision that it's more cost effective to pay any claims than to reengineer/redesign/repair an issue. I'm not saying that's the case here, but it's been done.
       

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    15. Centaurus5.0

      Centaurus5.0 Elite 5.0L Fiddler

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      I am dumbfounded you guys are still driving these 5th gens and people are still buying them despite all the safety concerns and manufacturing/reliability issues. YOU are the reason Ford hasn't addressed all the problems yet.

      [insert vain excuse here]
       
    16. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ^^ great post, thanks for your $0.02
       
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    17. Odrapnew

      Odrapnew Active Member

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      Fixed that so I can comment.
      Because not every 5th gen Explorer has issues.:rolleyes:


      EDIT: Just to clarify, not all Explorers have "all the safety concerns and manufacturing/reliability issues."

      Mine for one has only been to the dealer for the toe link recall and the air bag light @ 59k miles. Other than that, I have no complaints or issues.
       
      Last edited: September 19, 2017
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    18. Halford1

      Halford1 Member

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      I cannot lie, my 2014 Explorer has no CO issues as far as I am AWARE. I am dumbfounded that you suggest that because there are several members here who did take their EXP to dealers and have them fix the problem... I called the dealer in California and was invited to have my EXP checked. I will at next oil change because I know I am not in danger and I am very sensitive in smelling since I am deaf. when I lost my hearing, the couple of my other senses picked up the slack to make up for the loss of the hearing. I once helped a gas company guy find the gas leak at my home by using my nose. His gas leak detector did not pick up the source of leak. It was the tube that was loose at the hot water heater.

      Sometimes I smell exhaust smoke while driving but I figured that it were every Chevy in front of me that was emitting the smoke in my opened vent. ;)

      As I said I can smell very well and I am cursed to have this ability. But this curse can help save the lives of my family.

      No CO leak in my Explorer.
       
    19. XLT16

      XLT16 Member

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      Guess I must be part of the other 99.9% , just 1 of 1.297m who haven't filed a complaint on the issue. I have never smelled any exhaust in my vehicle nor rotten eggs etc. despite 2 yrs of ownership and many long trips of thousands of miles. I spend the winter in Florida , travel back and forth so spend a fair amount of the year using my A/C. Never felt light headed or sensed an issue with Co2 bleeding into the cabin. If I did I would be the first to complain.

      The internet tends to hype these things out of proportion to the problem, this no different. There could be a consistent problem or it could be a lot of different problems depending on use, assembly, etc..

      Given the holes the police put in their vehicles to fit all those lights etc, the way they use the vehicle. not surprised they would have issues. Sit in a idling vehicle for lengthy periods with the A/C on as the police often do , with exterior holes drilled in it not sealed, in hot humid climates, what a surprise the carbon monoxide leaks in, manifolds overheat and crack. I doubt this will end up being a widespread recall given the numbers to date.

      Ford may need to re-think a few things about their interceptor models as they have done finding lots of issues with third party applications. If it was a common problem , a widespread issue, a common cause would have been found by now given the 1.3m Explorers in service that would have it. Perhaps some users are using the vehicles in similar fashion to the police and cracking the manifolds, maybe there is a flaw in a metal part given certain service condtions as well as using re-circulate on the A/C which seems to increase the exposure to CO2. Sure the engineers will figure it out. The numbers don't bear out a widespread problem 2700 or 3200 (depending on who you read) complaints on a base of 1.3m. Lot of fretting and froing over it, small number of people actually filling out the complaint form. The police issue, the media hype surrounding it, the class actions threatened, seems to have heightened awareness , maybe more complaints, valid or not. Doesn't concern me with my vehicle, it is no Pinto.
       
    20. Odrapnew

      Odrapnew Active Member

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      I agree.
      Just to clarify my previous post, not all Explorers have issues.
      I'm also part of the majority that doesn't seem to have this issue or any significant amount of reliability/safety issues.
      Mine has only been to the dealer for the toe link recall and an air bag light @ 59k miles, both under warranty.
       
    21. Tom Howard

      Tom Howard New Member

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      CO does not have any odor at all, so you can't rely on your nose to detect it.
       
    22. CommandPresence

      CommandPresence Elite Explorer

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    23. XLT16

      XLT16 Member

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      Interesting , thanks for that. Sure looks like the folks installing after market equipment on these interceptor vehicles are taking some short cuts and putting the police officers at risk. Can't poke holes all over the place , run wiring and not bother to seal them up.
       
    24. Halford1

      Halford1 Member

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      It was never the Ford that neglected to fill the holes or seal the holes, it was the mechanics in Police Dept or the company who did it for the Police.
       

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