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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,725 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2015 Ford Explorer engine problems

engine problem

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2015 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #43

Oct 052016


  • 5,000 miles


Our Explorer limited unit has less than 21,000 miles on it. While accelerating to pass another vehicle, climbing a hill / mountain or similar situation exhaust fumes enter the cabin. The A/C unit is on and in the recirculation mode with the rear A/C unit operating. The noxious fumes smell like rotten eggs / sulfuric acid. The only way to clear the dangerous exhaust gases is to open windows allowing for a change in the cabin's atmosphere. This is a recurring issue that can be replicated. Working with the dealership we purchased from as well as Ford corporate to resolve this dangerous situation. Many units are experiencing this same issue. No proven repair / fix to date. How long will it take Ford's engineering team to isolate the reason this occurs and provide a proven repair / recall" could it be the units experiencing this recurring problem could be coming out of the same manufacturing facility"

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #42

Aug 012015


  • miles
Have taken this vehicle to Ford 4 times without resolution. Exhaust smell overpowering during acceleration and now afraid to take long trips over inclined ed grades, essentially limiting to no towing, no visits to family, essentially a big white elephant in my garage

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #41

Oct 192015

Explorer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Update to NHTSA complaint #10914850 vehicle still in service since 9/26/16. Total days at dealer for service due to exhaust fumes / chemical smell in passenger compartment: 26 as of 10/16/16. Have been told Ford's engineering rep (during Ford's "final repair attempt" under lemon law) also smelled fumes in cabin under wot and when engine under load. Was told that it could not be carbon monoxide in cabin making me dizzy and sick feeling because "catalytic converter changes carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide, which is why dealer uses CO2 meter not co meter". was informed that regional engineer instructed dealer to repeat tsb 14-0130 even though they were then telling me that the smell is from "mildew on the A/C evaporator core", which contradicts their performing the tsb to seal the vehicle from exhaust fumes a second time (performed previously without effect in 10/2015). Have been told many different "reasons" for the fumes in cabin, none of which make much sense. Mildew does not smell like sulfur or exhaust fumes. To make things worse, I was told that I "do not drive enough miles" during my trips to "dry out the evaporator core" so I am told my driving habits, not Ford's design flaws allowing exhaust into cabin, are the reason for the fumes. Service manager has been diligent and professional and is a genuinely nice person, though Ford is trying to serve up a "red herring" by trying to divert attention to the A/C system rather than admit to exhaust fumes in passenger cabin. Ford replaced the evap core which resulted in nearly no A/C upon being told vehicle ready for pick-up on 10/15/16, so it is still in to repair what they broke during "final repair attempt". to consumer, appears Ford has propped open fresh air vents regardless of "recirculate" button light, resulting in warm A/C. Ford should re-purchase this hazardous vehicle.

- Land O Lakes, FL, USA

problem #40

Oct 182014


  • 400 miles


Smell of exhaust fumes and/or sulfur-type odors coming through air conditioning system under heavy acceleration, passing on highway, or when engine is under a load. Fumes/smell get so bad that I have to roll down all windows and open sunroof to ventilate the passenger compartment. Tolerated the headaches, nausea, and light-headedness while driving until situation became intolerable and had begun to avoid driving the Explorer. First serviced in 10/2015, dealer had vehicle for 4 or 5 days. I was told that a tsb was performed which included removing the rear bumper and using sealant, but that did not correct the problem. Fumes in passenger compartment persisted. On 9/26/2016 took vehicle back to dealer for further diagnostics and repair attempts for same problem. Dealer had vehicle through 10/4/16, and called to tell me to come pick-up vehicle as it was "fixed" by cleaning A/C evaporator, and also "speaking with Ford engineers". went for test drive with service manager. After approx. 4-5 miles on highway, under varying acceleration conditions, cabin began to smell like fumes again, coming through the A/C vents. Then I began to feel light-headed and informed service manager of same. Could not ventillate vehicle due to heavy rains, but taking A/C off of "recirculate air" helped only a little, and changed nature of odor slightly. Dealership was using a meter to measure what was supposed to be carbon monoxide. Was consistently told throughout that measurements were "low" at 900ppm to max 1500ppm. When driving with same meter, it alarmed multiple times, but I was told it was because meter responds to breathing in the car. I determined that meter was for carbon dioxide not carbon monoxide. Returned vehicle to service, was told Ford is having regional rep examine vehicle on 10/11/16. I have filed a lemon law complaint with BBB.

- Land O Lakes, FL, USA

problem #39

Jul 012016


  • 30,156 miles
Upon hard acceleration, such as trying to get on the interstate highway or going up a hill while pulling a trailer, exhaust fumes are getting into the passenger cabin. You can smell an odor similar to sulfur or like someone struck a kitchen match. This is most noticeable when the front and rear ac units are running. I've taken the vehicle to the dealership twice and the tsb repairs have been done on the vehicle but the fumes are still getting into the cabin. The last time I had it in to the dealer, I had one of the mechanics ride with me while I got on the interstate. He never would say that he smelled the odor of the exhaust but if I could smell it, he certainly could have as well. The odor is offensive and bothersome but the carbon monoxide that it contains is poisonous. I've looked online and there are many post to various websites posted by owners that have the same problem. Ford should be made to correct this problem.

- Forsyth, GA, USA

problem #38

Nov 012014


  • 500 miles
2015 Ford Explorer -- smelling exhaust odors inside the car when accelerating over 3,000rpm, usually when merging thru interstate highways or expressways, driving over 75mph or going uphill. It happens with the A/C mode in "recirculation" or not. I bought the car brand new on July 2014. I reported the issue at least four (4) to six (6) with the dealership's service department, and they attempted with the help of Ford engineers to fix it with instructions from tsb 14-0130 but it doesn't seem to help. On two (2) separate occasions, they had to give me a rental car for two (2) weeks because they were troubleshooting and attempting to fix it. I have also attached a letter from the dealership stating their interest in purchasing the car but I don't know if it has something to do with the defects but I find it very interesting.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #37

Sep 262016


  • 12,500 miles


The contact owns a 2015 Ford Explorer. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle decelerated, stalled, and the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of this issue. The failure mileage was 12,500.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #36

Aug 022016


  • 10,000 miles
My vehicle has had an exhaust smell under acceleration since new. After approximately 9 months it starting getting really bad. I took it to the dealership beginning of August and they completed the tech bulletin but was not fixed so I took it back. The dealer told me they worked on it for 3 days with technical service from Ford motor headquarters but could not fix it and told me it was safe to drive and gave me back the vehicle. When I picker up the vehicle my receipt stated "could not verify problem", (that is a major cover-up) by the dealer from liability. I filed complaint with Ford and took it to another dealership. They verified the problem and have had it twice more and replaced the exhaust and resealed the body seams but the smell is still there. I have been in contact with Ford but keep getting the run around and told I have to take it back to the dealer but the dealer tells me they have done everything to try and fix it. My main complaint is that this is a lease vehicle so it belongs to Ford, they should just take their vehicle back and release me from my lease since they cannot fix their vehicle. Ford tells me that they filed the paperwork for the lemon law but I need to take it back to the dealer again and again. I just picked it up Saturday and this is Monday and Ford says take it back to the dealer and Ford will call me on Friday. I don't know why I have to keep taking it back to dealer when dealer states they cannot fix it.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #35

Apr 182016


  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Ford Explorer. When attempting to hard accelerate in the vehicle, exhaust fumes entered the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer four times. The exhaust system and other components were replaced, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 7,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #34

Feb 012016


  • 5,255 miles
Burning plastic / exhaust smell inside the cab any time when accelerating

- Palatka, FL, USA

problem #33

Feb 152015


  • 19,200 miles


The contact owns a 2015 Ford Explorer. While driving and accelerating the vehicle, an exhaust odor entered the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the HVAC module and air extractor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 19,200. The VIN was not provided.

- Lumberton, TX, USA

problem #32

Jan 152015


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Ford Explorer. While operating the vehicle, exhaust fumes were present inside the vehicle and caused the occupants to become drowsy. While using a carbon monoxide detector, the reading indicated that the carbon monoxide levels reached 60 parts per million. The contact indicated that the failure was most noticeable when the air conditioner unit was operated or while driving up an incline. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on several different occasions and the extractor, molding, valve asy auto drain, power take off asy, and the transfer case were replaced; but, the failure continued. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 100. The VIN was not available...updated 09/20/16

- Hazelton, PA, USA

problem #31

Jun 122016


  • 21,000 miles
3.5L ecoboost, 24K miles. Upon attempted acceleration, engine does not produce full power. Engine lags significantly then surges in both RPM and acceleration. Issues has persisted for approximately 3K miles. Issue occurs during all environmental conditions. Check engine light has not come on. No codes have been found. Vehicle has been examined by hudson Ford in Wisconsin. No resolution provided, issue continues to exhibit itself.

- Apple Valley, MN, USA

problem #30

Apr 012015


  • 3,000 miles
I have noticed this smell some since I purchased the vehicle, but it has progressively gotten worse. Upon heavy acceleration (such as merging onto the highway), there is a very strong burning smell that takes over the inside of the vehicle. The smell seems to be exhaust coming into the vehicle. I have noticed an increase in "sleepy driving", or getting sleepy even if it is just on my way home from work. In July 2016 I took the vehicle in to be fixed, however, the fix did not work. This morning I took it back to the dealership for more repairs. I have a young child, and these fumes coming into the vehicle is not acceptable and needs to be taken care of immediately. Ford needs to do something, or provide a major discount towards a new version that doesn't have this defect. I finally got the vehicle I wanted, and I can't drive it because of this issue. Please make Ford fix this problem. 7 years of this being an issue with Ford vehicles is way to long!!!

- Jones, OK, USA

problem #29

Aug 032016


  • 24,000 miles
My 2015 Ford Explorer gives off exhaust gas that enters the cabin under acceleration to highway speeds and has made passengers in my car sick and vomit. The problem started immediately after I bought the car and as of today the dealer cannot fix the problem. I have had it back to the dealer numerous times and have contacted Ford customer care center without success. They say the car is fixed but still smells. The dealer tells me they have been in touch with Ford and still no remedy. Its almost like they are waiting for the warranty to run out so they can forget about this problem. My brother has an Explorer police vehicle and on a recent trip with him in his car his did the exact same thing.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #28

Mar 022015


  • 4,500 miles
I have noticed since the car was purchased new a strong odor coming from the air conditioning system when you depress the accelerator to max when passing a car or entering an on ramp. I have tried with both the fresh air on and recirculate on, the same effect is noticed. Finally after dealing with this for about a year I brought it up to my dealer when the vehicle was in for its routine service. The service advisor informed me he has a 2016 Explorer with the same problem and that Ford came back with something about vents not opening quick enough at the rear of the vehicle. To his knowledge, there was no fix from Ford as of yet. The smell does get quite strong and routinely the windows need to be lowered to prevent the strong odors from lingering. I am concerned as to what the odor is, possibly harmful emissions that could affect myself and my passengers? under normal driving conditions the smelled will appear when the accelerator is depressed more than half way, far too often in my opinion. I did notice more of the smell during the warmer months of the year and not as much when it was cooler/cold (we live in Florida so never freezing).

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #27

Jul 282016


  • 6,000 miles
Strong odor of exhaust fumes enter cabin when gas pedal is pushed hard when entering freeway and air conditioner is on and set at recirculate. It happens every time I enter the freeway at end of entrance ramp. I am forced to open the windows while driving to make the fumes go away.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #26

Nov 042014


  • 26,482 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Ford Explorer. During acceleration, an exhaust odor emitted from the vehicle without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the air outer vent assembly and valve assembly auto drain needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the technician stated that the vehicle was unable to be remedied. The contact was also advised to refrain from using the rear vents and hard acceleration. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 26,482. Updated 09/29/16

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #25

Oct 222014


  • 150 miles
I can smell gas fumes in the interior of the car when driving. Sometimes the odor is more when I accelerate. The smell isn't there all the time, but is pretty strong when it is present. This has happened several times -- ever since we bought the car. We bought the car in 2014.

- Colon, NE, USA

problem #24

Dec 102015


  • 100 miles
I purchased my 2015 Ford Explorer limited in November 2015. I special ordered the vehicle which took just about six weeks to arrive. Since the first day I noticed and also family members noticed a smell. At first I just thought it was the newness of the vehicle and the break in period. Over the months I've noticed the smell never dissipated when accelerating to highway speeds. I'm in aviation and having any type of fumes entering the cabin area would immediately raise the red flag, notifying customers. I do understand the auto industry is much different, but in the same breath the health and well being of consumers breathing in these fumes could and will cause health problems. I've read most of the post concerning the direction some dealerships are being guided from Ford with the results not fixing the issue.emissions with newer vehicles are much better as with aircraft, but once again what is the cost to someones health. I've been a Ford owner for many, many years and this is very troubling to say the least. Ford has a responsibility to resolve this issue. I'm sure Ford engineers are working day and night to resolve this. I hope that other consumers with the same concerns take the time to reach out and hopefully not find themselves in I'll health before hand.

- Wichita, KS, USA

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