2016 Ford Explorer exhaust system problems: odor in cabin

Odor In Cabin

2016 Ford Explorer (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
15,200 miles
Total Complaints:
24 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (22 reports)
  2. no (2 reports)
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2016 Ford Explorer exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2016 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Apr 202018

Explorer Limited 3.5L Na

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


Exhaust gases coming into cabin, esp after harder acceleration. Installing Carbon Monoxide detector today for proof.

- John C., Dallas, GA, US

problem #23

Jun 152016

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles

The vehicle is leaking carbon monoxide into the passenger compartment, especialy when the A/C recirculate is on. Ford reps stated "we are aware, but there's nothing we can do"

- J G P., northville, MI, US

problem #22

Aug 012017

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles

From what I've read, Ford will not take responsibility for this design issue. Everything I've read indicates the 2 Technical Service Bulletins issued by Ford do not address the issue. I'm sure the real fix is too expensive. What a bunch of creeps. Well, my solution is to trade it in on a Toyota 4-Runner and never buy another Ford. I've been a Ford guy my whole life. I started by buying a 1990 Ranger, then a Taurus, a Sable, another Taurus, an F-150 and finally the Explorer. But, after this experience with the Explorer, I'm done with Ford.

- tbone, Chandler, AZ, US

problem #21

Mar 142016

Explorer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles


There is a exhaust odor that exist when accelerating in the vehicle cabin. All passengers can smell the exhaust. The emissions issue is obvious, and needs to be addressed by ford- and not denied.

- tjohnboydjb, Roanoke, US

problem #20

Oct 172017

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

My Explorer also has an odor I describe as burnt hair when accelerating. It doesn't happen every time I accelerate but is frequent. The odor comes from the vents. I dismissed it at first but one day the car was running when I opened the hatch to get something and smelled the exhaust. I realized it's the same odor that enters when I accelerate. It does give me a headache when it occurs.

I have been to Ford but get nowhere. They dismiss the complaint and say they smell nothing. Maybe after today's news report they will listen.

- Travis S., Lebanon, US

problem #19

Oct 142017

Explorer Platinum 3.5L V6 Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

Smelling Exhaust fumes in the cabin while driving. Of course the car is 1,000 mile over warranty and Ford says they don't know if they will cover it. This is a design flaw and extremely dangerous. I am waiting to see what they tell me at the dealership.

- Marvin P., Angleton, US

problem #18

Mar 012017

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles


I am having the same problem with my 2016 Ford Explorer that the 2011-2015's are having with horrible exhaust smells in cabin upon acceleration. Just wanted to let you know that it is also affecting 2016's. I am going to let Ford know that this makes me feel sick when I am driving especially upon acceleration.

Update from Sep 26, 2017: Took it to dealer and told them about smell of exhaust in cabin upon acceleration I was told it couldn't be exhaust bcause Carbon Monoxide is odorless and that couldn't be what I was smelling. Took a mechanic from dealership on test drive and I could not duplicate the problem, We only test drove around dealership on the streets. I need to take them on the freeway on ramp where it is especially noticeable. Will do that soon. They also told me they were not aware of ANY complaints of this problem. Puuuuulease.

- Peggy B., Sylmar, US

problem #17

Dec 092015

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124 miles

Smell of exhaust fumes in the cab after acceleration passing/towing/merging. Been happening since day one Thought it was just breaking it but now have 50000km on vehicle and its getting worse. Especially in Summer.

- Michael P., Warren, MB, Canada

problem #16

Jun 012016

Explorer 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,800 miles

Very bad smell inside of cabin. Took the vehicle to local dealer. They had found that exhaust was leaking into the car. Had vehicle for over a year and was never notify that these cars may have a problem. My wife always complain about headache. Had time were I would have burning eyes inside of car. To top it off, We have a 4 year old grandchild that inside that car for five days a week. Never know that exhaust was entering that car. Should have been notify.

- mdoiron, Houma, US

problem #15

May 252016

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49 miles

I saved for many years to buy this vehicle. I was so proud. At first, I thought maybe the gas smell in the cabin was due to the Explorer not having a gas cap because I noticed it when I accelerated on an entrance ramp and I had just filled up the vehicle. So, when I met with my salesman a couple of weeks after purchasing this new vehicle I waited TWO months to get because it was special ordered, I talked to him regarding the gas smell in the cabin and I mentioned the no gas cap and he said, "No, Ford received an award for that no gas cap system. I never heard of this before." He did say it takes 3000-6000 miles for the vehicle to be "broken in". So, I kept thinking they probably spilled something on the engine when building the car and it just has to dry.

I drove it very little and very slow to minimize what I thought would be a "temporary" problem. In Nov., I sent a PS to my salesman in an email saying I was still getting the smell in the cabin and it was unacceptable. (I bought it May, 2016.) In March of 2017, I needed navigation to get to my nephew's baseball game 42 miles away down a two way road called 2004 so I didn't drive our old truck since it doesn't have navigation. I went to pass a truck and had to hard accelerate and omg....the cabin was flooded with gas/exhaust fumes/smells. I got a sore throat and had to roll down the windows and turn off the A/C. It was awful. (in southern Tx., you need A/C.)

When I came home, my cousin and I went on the internet and investigated and found the 2011-2015 exhaust smells in the Explorer cabin lawsuit and all the countless accounts of Explorer owners with the same problem. The vehicle has been in the shop 3 times starting in March and still has the same problem. I've now owned it for 15 months and have 5800 miles on it. My EX-husband and I have owned 11 FORDs. I'm shocked that I have been a loyal customer and now I'm getting slapped in the face in return by FORD. I'm the sole caretaker of my now hubby who has lewy body dementia and sometimes tries to undo his seat belt.

I need my Explorer fixed because it has many safety features I need while taking care of my husband in the vehicle. Our old truck I drive most of the time does not have those safety features. I have sent in my complaint to NHSTB. I've called Ford corporate. I filled out papers with the BBB AutoLine. The dealership is caught in the middle. Not their fault. The Explorer was shipped from Chicago. Something happened when they built this Explorer. I'm still making payments on a vehicle I can't drive. So frustrating. I'm shocked I'm still expected to drive this dangerous vehicle with no one giving me a loaner. I just don't think it's fair that I have purchased 11 Fords in the past being loyal and now when I need Ford to be loyal to me, they have evaporated into thin air.

- Mj M., League City, US

problem #14

Jul 292016

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles


Purchased this truck July 2016 and I immediately started smelling this burning type rotten egg smell. At first I paid it no mind, until my husband and kids started to smell it also.

- Roshaunda J., Houston, US

problem #13

Jul 032017

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Ford needs to look into this. Every time I get in my vehicle it smells like exhaust fumes after I turn it on. This is not only gross but dangerous with the amount of CO that is leaking into my vehicle.

- Taylor E., Sioux Falls, US

problem #12

Mar 312017

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

Leased Ford Explorer March 2016. Took in within a couple months for exhaust smell problem, they said it was fixed. Still smells. Now they want to keep car. No loaner provided.

- Alisa C., Huntington Beach, US

problem #11

May 052016

Explorer Flex Fuel 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21 miles

I purchased a new 2016 Ford Explorer and from the very first day I start getting that rotten egg smell inside the cab. I thought that the smell would go away but it never did. I finally called the Ford company. I was told to take the vehicle to the Ford Dealer to have it check out. I did and explained the problem with the smell to the garage supervisor. I was asked to leave the vehicle overnight. When I called the supervisor to inquire about the vehicle, I was told that they could not smell any bad smell in the cab, even though the vehicle was taken on three road tests. That is not so true. The bad smell is still there whenever I am driving and have to take the windows down at high speeds. I am so disappointed with the Ford Dealer

If you have any suggestions, please call me or have you a name of a good trial attorney. SP 404-931-8753

- Jack P., Atlanta, GA, US

problem #10

Apr 012016

Explorer Limited 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles

Our 2016 Ford Explorer has exhaust fumes getting into cabin when accelerating up a hill or onto a freeway under harder acceleration, also in passing gear and when you back off to normal speed you get an awful smell in the cabin through the ventilation. We have had it back to dealership at least six times or more and also talked to a Ford customer service rep at least six times with no fix. The mufflers were replaced but no change was made to fumes getting into cabin. After recently researching the problem we have found out that this has been occurring since the production of the 2011 Ford Explorers. Carbon monoxide is a health hazard. How can Ford keep ignoring the problem and getting away with it when this is a health hazard? We keep getting the run around with Ford customer service because there is no fix to it - but the government lets them keep building faulty Explorers. If it wasn't for the unhealthy fumes we would be 100% satisfied with our 2016 Ford Explorer Limited.

- dillpickle, Morris, OK, US

problem #9

Mar 011917

Explorer XLT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles

I have owned a 2016 Ford Explorer for 10 months. After anout a week of driving I noticed a very strong burning smell coming into the cabin. I brought to dealer only to be told that it must be a burning sticker on engine. Well 10 months later the smell is as strong as ever! I have noticed many other complaints online and there needs to be a class action lawsuit against Ford. This is ridiculous, For a brand new car!

Update from Jan 25, 2017: An update to this site is- my fuel tank was replaced after it was proven to have a major gas leak. The fuel neck was replaced one month later. No change- still very strong gas Oder. What else needs to happen before they replace my car that I am paying a fortune for!!??? I can not park the car inside the garage as the entire house will smell of gasoline.

- hollyl , Canton, GA, US

problem #8

Mar 172016

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

if you exceed it, a strong exhaust stinking smell comes through. l would want Ford to take full "Responsibility " and fix the problem or repurchase the Vehicle back

- Ray R., Houston, TX, US

problem #7

Jun 272016

Explorer Limited 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles

I have had 2 Ford Explorers. The first one was a 2013 which was broadsided by a tractor trailer in June 2016 and was totaled. I liked the Explorer so bought a 2016. Both of these vehicles have the odor in the cabin problem so it is obvious that Ford does not know what the problem is nor how to fix it. It seems to me that with all the complaints that they would address this as this is a horrible odor. While it hasn't made me sick,..yet....I have no idea of the damage that the fumes might be causing health wise. Safety comes in many forms and breathing possible toxic fumes is right at the top of the list.

- msdisapp, Thurmont, MD, US

problem #6

Jun 072016

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,500 miles

Definitely getting an exhaust or burning smell in the cabin after a hard acceleration. I read online that there is no fix for this issue so did not bother taking the time to take it to the dealer. Just another reason I will not buy another Ford Explorer.

- tbone, Chandler, AZ, US

problem #5

May 012016

Explorer Limited 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 784 miles

Smell of exhaust fumes in the cabin under acceleration

- Howell M., Fulshear, TX, US

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