Ford Explorer owners to receive free exhaust repairs after fume - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Ford Explorer owners to receive free exhaust repairs after fume complaints

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(NEWS 8) — Owners of the latest Ford Explorers should expect some mail this week as Ford is sending out a letter informing owners about their voluntary repair program. 

It comes after toxic exhaust fumes were discovered seeping into the car's cabin. 

The letters were sent out on Monday and owners should start getting them Wednesday.  

The repairs include reprogramming the air conditioner, replacing drain valves, and checking the seals around the back of the vehicle. 

It comes as the number of complaints continues to rise. 

Steve Simmons has unloaded his tools from the 2015 Ford Explorer he bought used just a couple weeks earlier. He made the dealer buy it back after he says he got sick behind the wheel with nausea, headaches, dizziness and blurred vision. 

After taking blood tests, Simmons' doctor diagnosed him with carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Simmons wonders what would have happened if he or his wife had fallen asleep from the fumes while driving and says he believes the issue could have killed him.  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating at least 1.3 million 2011-2017 Explorers based on reports of exhaust, which contains carbon monoxide, seeping into the passenger cabin. 

Nearly 1,300 people have filed complaints with the regulator.   

Ford acknowledged getting more than 2,000 reports as of August last year. 

In the letter now sent to customers, Ford insists Explorers "are safe" and its "investigation has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day." 

NTHSA says it's found no actual evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

That's despite documented cases, like Louisiana police officer Brandy Sickey, who is now suing Ford, and Simmons - both were diagnosed after driving an Explorer. 

Simmons just launched hoping to rally support for a recall.  

"What's it going to take before decisive action is taken?" asked Simmons. "Now I know it's a lot of money for Ford but I mean, you know, put a value on human life."  

NHTSA isn't commenting on the timeline for its investigation, but says it is very concerned about this potential safety problem adding, "This action by Ford does not bring closure to the issue." 

The agency recommends if you get this letter, call your dealer. 

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