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

Jon M

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I saw an ABC report last night with a video, Austin TX police had 80 (I think) explorers with cracks in the exhaust pipes. It showed the cracks. Some of the explorers were administrative and hadn't been modified. They pulled all off the streets.

They have 397 actually. They only have 200 CVs and PI/Taurus sedans to replace them with.

I wonder how much outside temperature has to do with this. It seems like more southern agencies are having issues. I bought mine in January, and didn't notice the issue until late spring, when we started getting into the upper 80s.

A friend and I are going to be poking around with a combustible gas detector and an endoscope later today, to see if we can find anything on mine. Since it's only happening at higher RPM, I'm hoping that we can duplicate it with the vehicle parked and just holding the throttle enough to keep it over 3000 RPM, since I notice it during slower acceleration above 3000.
 


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Dfred

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I have the smell at least once a week..... and on my way to my dealers to drop it off for the TSB...... They say that they will have the vehicle for at least two days so when I get it back I will put it through the wringer to try to get it to do it again. I'll let you all know how it went...
 








Sixonemale

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So 4 days later auburn, PD confirm CO issues have been resolved with their Police PIUs.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/articl...sf/2017/08/carbon_monoxide_leaks_inside_a.amp

I'm going to let this play out, lots of moving parts regarding PIUs and civilian owned Explorers. Why is the manifold of PIUs leaking untreated or uncontrolled carbon monoxide? Not only is that a potential health hazard, but it also may exceed emission standards. Are manifolds on civilian owned Explorers manufactured by the same company? There is also back end vacuum issue on civilian owned Explorers that Ford has yet to solve according to some on in this forum. Bottom-line when you drive a vehicle at WOT you should not be able to smell exhaust. Also, if only took Ford four days to fix Auburn PD's CO issues, why has it taken Ford over six years to try to resolve the civilian Explorers cabin exhaust issue? Time will tell all and hopefully in the meantime there are no more safety issues or accidents.
 




blwnsmoke

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Also, if only took Ford four days to fix Auburn PD's CO issues, why has it taken Ford over six years to try to resolve the civilian Explorers cabin exhaust issue?

Because they stated they found open areas from modifications that Ford sealed up. This goes along with Ford's original statement last week that they confirmed elsewhere of areas improperly sealed or missing sealant.

Will be interested to see what happens with civilian versions.

Also, exhaust manifold is under the hood so if it is leaking due to cracks, I can definitely understa d why it is getting in the cabin.
 




Sixonemale

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Because they stated they found open areas from modifications that Ford sealed up. This goes along with Ford's original statement last week that they confirmed elsewhere of areas improperly sealed or missing sealant.

Will be interested to see what happens with civilian versions.

Also, exhaust manifold is under the hood so if it is leaking due to cracks, I can definitely understa d why it is getting in the cabin.

Simply put, my point is holes or no holes in the under body of a PUI, untreated exhaust should not be leaking from the exhaust system.
 




peterk9

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.......There is also back end vacuum issue on civilian owned Explorers that Ford has yet to solve according to some on in this forum. Bottom-line when you drive a vehicle at WOT you should not be able to smell exhaust........Time will tell all and hopefully in the meantime there are no more safety issues or accidents.
The "back end vacuum issue" is a product of the vehicle's design and applies to all SUV and likely CUV type vehicles. That is the main reason you see them with rear washers and wipers because of all the dirt that accumulates back there. I agree that exhaust should not be entering the cabin at WOT or with any type of acceleration. I sincerely hope that this 'fix' is the one that does indeed cure the problem once and for all.

Peter
 




Earl Taylor

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Sorry, I couldn't find the video. It was a national news station. It showed the cracks not far from the engine and on top of the pipe. He had a flex video camera that went on top of the pipe Maybe someone else can find it. If I see it again I will write down who it was.
 




Earl Taylor

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I found it. CBS news 4 Aug 2017. Montgomery Co. Maryland. Shows video of crack in exhaust manifold. I thought it was the exhaust pipe. I don't know how to bring up the news network. I just type in google video of inspection of police ford explorer. I had to go through about 6 before I found it. Hope someone can bring it up. I saw another video that they thought it was in the piece above the rear window had defective fasteners.
 




blwnsmoke

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Simply put, my point is holes or no holes in the under body of a PUI, untreated exhaust should not be leaking from the exhaust system.

Who said it was untreated?
 




Sixonemale

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Who said it was untreated?

Take your pick, it states that in article that started this thread and also states in the following article below:

http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2017/07/28/feds-expand-probe-into-ford-explorer-exhaust-fume-leaks.html

"The agency also said that through cooperation with police departments, it has learned that the Police Interceptor version of the Explorer is experiencing exhaust manifold cracks that are hard to detect and may explain exhaust odors. Investigators will evaluate the cause, frequency and safety consequences of the cracks, and whether Explorers used by civilians are experiencing cracked manifolds, the agency said."

Remember, untreated carbon monoxide (parts per million) from exhaust leaks before treatment of the catalytic converter is about 30 times greater or so than those concentrations after treatment of the catalytic converter. It very well could be a combination of both tail pipe exhaust as well as exhaust from manifold leaks, certainly not sure. Like I said I'm going to let this play itself out now that the experts are working on it.
 




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I purchased my used Explorer out of state about a month ago. I had no idea that this problem existed. I discovered the forum a couple weeks ago and joined to see if I could find help for a CE light. Thankfully that problem has been cleared up by a valve change under the hood, and a helpful parts store manager. I was able to pass the state emissions test today and plate the vehicle. The tech at the test center asked me about this issue and I had to say I knew nothing of it. I bought this vehicle for long highway trips with 4 to 6 folks on board. Now I am really worried and will be watching this board for info posted on possible solutions for the problem. I will say that when we drove the 200 plus miles home from the dealer on the highway I didn't notice any issue with mine. I think a CO detector is in my future, :-(
 




Exit32

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Most police Explorers are equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine. I wonder if the 3.7-liter engine uses exhaust manifolds that are different from the exhaust manifolds used on the civilian 3.5-liter engines. Perhaps the 3.7 has manifolds that are more prone to cracking?
 




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Most police Explorers are equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine. I wonder if the 3.7-liter engine uses exhaust manifolds that are different from the exhaust manifolds used on the civilian 3.5-liter engines. Perhaps the 3.7 has manifolds that are more prone to cracking?

I wondered this myself. Lincoln used the 3.7.. I wonder if there is an issue on the Lincoln forums about this. Haven't googled it.
 




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http://www.freep.com/story/money/ca...tigators-fix-police-explorer-fumes/549147001/

Ford dispatches investigators across country to fix police Explorer SUV fume issues
Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press Published 6:39 p.m. ET Aug. 8, 2017 | Updated 9:40 p.m. ET Aug. 8, 2017
35547428001_5535681201001_5535669954001-vs.jpg



Ford has dispatched teams of investigators to help fix an exhaust fume issue reported in Explorer police SUVs. The company blames the problems on improper modifications made after the vehicles leave the factory. Wochit

636378027854939512-Ford-Explorer-Police-Interceptor-photo-1.jpg

(Photo: Eric D. Lawrence)

4 CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE
Ford has dispatched five teams of investigators across the country to help police departments deal with reports of exhaust fumes inside their SUVs as it works to grapple with troubling reports that could threaten its grip on the high-profile police car business.

Bill Gubing, chief engineer for the Explorer, told the Free Press on Tuesday that company investigators have found police vehicles with holes and uncovered spaces near taillights or rear lift gates that can allow carbon monoxide, a colorless and poisonous gas, inside the cabin of Explorer Police Interceptors.

The Dearborn automaker is blaming improperly installed or sealed aftermarket modifications, such as added emergency lights, for a rash of carbon monoxide complaints associated with police SUVs.

Those complaints included the police department in Austin, Texas, which pulled an estimated 400 police vehicles off the road in recent weeks. A police department in Portsmouth, N.H., has also raised concerns about carbon monoxide fumes leaking into the Explorer's cabin.

"We are all concerned from the front-line officers all the way up to the chief," said Eric Benson, Portsmouth's training officer. "We want to get this solved. We certainly don't want to wait until something happens. We want to take all measures we can to ensure that not only all the officers are safe but the public as well."

While Ford's Explorer Police Interceptors are not part of a recall, or even an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the automaker is working quickly to address concerns that began to emerge last month.

Ford has a long history of dominating police vehicle sales. The company long held more than a 70% market share of police vehicle sales for years until it discontinued the venerable Crown Victoria in 2011. And while police cars are only a small percentage of the automaker's total sales, they give the company a high-profile halo vehicle that boosts brand recognition ranging from those who aspire to join law enforcement to those who want to flee.

In recent years, Ford has faced increased competition from the likes of the Dodge Charger Pursuit and the Chevrolet Caprice Police Interceptor. Ford is fighting back by adding more police vehicles to its lineup. It introduced the Ford Police Responder, a modified version of the Fusion Hybrid sedan, at the New York International Auto Show in April and last month introduced the first-ever Police Pursuit version of its F-150 pickup.

On Tuesday, Ford said its primary concern is to ensure the safety of police officers and get to the bottom of the issue.

“We’ve been working with our teams to methodically investigate these incidents with the police,” Gubing said. "Those teams are working to fix the vehicles and get them back on the road as quickly as possible.”

Ford has investigators in Austin working on the issue and has made repairs to police vehicles in Auburn, Mass., where police said an officer involved in a crash had been exposed to carbon monoxide and other officers were hospitalized. Ford said in a statement Tuesday evening that it had worked with more than a dozen police agencies nationwide to repair more than 50 vehicles including Galveston, Texas.

Gubing said the company is covering the cost of repairs regardless of the age or mileage of the vehicle. He said the issue only affects police Explorers and that other drivers do not need to be concerned. The issue is caused by how vehicles are modified after they leave the factory, according to Ford.

While showing images of modified and repaired Explorer police SUVs, Gubing described how holes had been drilled into the rear lift gate for wiring on some vehicles but not properly sealed during the modification process. In another case, a spoiler above the rear window was modified for extra lights but an unsealed gap could allow fumes to penetrate the vehicle cabin.

Such issues might not have been noticeable in older police cruisers because of the differences in design, Gubing said.

“In conventional police sedans, exhaust getting in through these holes is less of an issue because it would just flow into the trunk rather than into the general cabin of a utility vehicle,” Gubing said, noting that it's crucial for modifications to be done properly.

The police department in Auburn complimented Ford in a Facebook post on Saturday on how the company addressed the problems on its vehicles.

"The Auburn Police Department is happy to report that we believe the carbon monoxide issue we have recently experienced with our Ford police cruisers is believed to have been corrected by Ford engineers and mechanics from the Auburn DPW. ... The modifications included removing exterior aftermarket emergency lighting as well as sealing the taillight wiring areas and replacing the rear spoiler clips," according to the Facebook post.

When asked about the prevalence of so many reports related to modifications on this particular vehicle, Gubing said it may relate to the vehicle's wide popularity with police departments. That, he said, has opened up lots of opportunities for equipment outfitters.

But Gubing also acknowledged that questions have been raised about cracks in Explorer exhaust manifolds. He said Ford's tests have shown no evidence that the cracks have allowed exhaust to enter the vehicle cabins.

USA TODAY reported in February that NHTSA was investigating 2011-15 Ford Explorers "after receiving 154 complaints of 'occupants smelling exhaust odors in the occupant compartment, some of which expressed concerns about exposure to carbon monoxide.'"

An e-mail seeking information on the status of the investigation was sent to a media contact for the agency.

Gubing also said it’s not unusual for vehicles to have small amounts of carbon monoxide inside.

“As you know, carbon monoxide is around us everywhere. It’s produced when organic matter burns. It’s in our homes. It’s in the ambient air and it’s really not unusual for vehicles to have small amounts of carbon monoxide to be detected in them without posing any risk to health but of course we want to keep those levels as low as we can and protect the health and safety of drivers and passengers," he said.

Still, agencies such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are quick to note the dangers of exposure.

“Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the invisible killer because it's a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the United States die every year from accidental non-fire related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators,” according to information posted on the commission’s website.

Contact Eric D. Lawrence: elawrence@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_ericdlawrence. Free Press Staff Writer Brent Snavely and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
 




1995E

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I found it. CBS news 4 Aug 2017. Montgomery Co. Maryland. Shows video of crack in exhaust manifold. I thought it was the exhaust pipe. I don't know how to bring up the news network. I just type in google video of inspection of police ford explorer. I had to go through about 6 before I found it. Hope someone can bring it up. I saw another video that they thought it was in the piece above the rear window had defective fasteners.

Yep, I live in Montgomery County and all the Ford PI Utilitys are pulled off the streets. I only see Taurus' or Chargers.
I feel like making a change.org petition... If Ford is not going to admit the flawed design of the Explorer and the dangers it has caused the public, since the release of the Explorer, then people need to be aware.
 




boominXplorer

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I have done no actual research on the carbon monoxide end but from what I have seen working on various years of Fords over the years is the "rotten egg smell" seems to happen in all models with the orange (dexcool) coolant. I've driven a couple customer complaint vehicles before and I remember one particular 2015 explorer was extremely bad. It was a regular xlt model. We were looking for a dead animal under the hood it stunk so bad at times.

Reason I bring this up is I think some people might be confusing the two issues. You shouldn't be able to smell carbon monoxide but if you smelled some one of these rotten egg cars you would think your being poisoned by something for sure.
 




blwnsmoke

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Yep, I live in Montgomery County and all the Ford PI Utilitys are pulled off the streets. I only see Taurus' or Chargers.
I feel like making a change.org petition... If Ford is not going to admit the flawed design of the Explorer and the dangers it has caused the public, since the release of the Explorer, then people need to be aware.

Article showing pics of modified police explorers with open holes Ford has found from the installers. More evidence that it is the upfitter for the PIUs.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ford-police-cruiser-carbon-monoxide-leaking/?ftag=YHF4eb9d17&yptr=yahoo

And I love this little gem.. "Tests showed potentially dangerous levels of the gas in her blood" It is either dangerous or it isnt.. wth is potentially dangerous ?

And then there is the piece where the NHTSA has stated there still have not been any co formation or proof that CO caused the accidents.
 


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Zinc

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What I heard on WTOP (major Washington, DC area news station) this morning is that Ford is not buying that civilian models are affected. Live just north of you and travel in Monkey County daily to get to work in VA. Frederick police and MD State are still using their Explorers.


Yep, I live in Montgomery County and all the Ford PI Utilitys are pulled off the streets. I only see Taurus' or Chargers.
I feel like making a change.org petition... If Ford is not going to admit the flawed design of the Explorer and the dangers it has caused the public, since the release of the Explorer, then people need to be aware.
 




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