— A Ford Explorer exhaust lawsuit has been settled days before the trial was scheduled to begin. The terms of the settlement haven't been finalized and approved by the court, but both Ford and the lead plaintiff sent notice to the court about the mutual agreement.
The exhaust lawsuit was filed by Angela Sanchez-Knutson, the owner of a 2013 Ford Explorer who claims exhaust smells made her and her 5-year-old daughter sick. The plaintiff says they were sickened by carbon monoxide while driving the Ford Explorer, which caused the woman to allegedly take the SUV to a dealership eight times.
Sanchez-Knutson says her repeated trips to the dealer did nothing to fix the smell as Ford technicians told her the smells weren't harmful, even though mechanics knew the odors were there.
A big point of the exhaust lawsuit involves a technical service bulletin Ford sent to its dealers about owners who complain about the smells. The bulletin warned dealers about 2011-2013 Explorers that may emit exhaust odors when the auxiliary climate control system is activated.
Ford told dealers to replace the left side rear air extractors, install new drain valves and apply new layers of undercoating to the SUVs.
Ford originally filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but the judge denied the request in November 2014.
If the court finalizes the settlement, the plaintiffs will include anyone who purchased or leased a 2011-2015 Ford Explorer from Florida Ford dealerships.
The plaintiff alleges violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, the Transportation Recall Enhancement Accountability and Documentation Act and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
The Ford Explorer exhaust lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida - Sanchez-Knutson v. Ford Motor Co.
The plaintiff is represented by Kelley / Uustal.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into 2011-2015 Ford Explorer SUVs in July 2016 after receiving 154 complaints about exhaust fumes making people sick.
As with the lawsuit, Ford Explorer owners say exhaust fumes can be so strong inside the SUVs that occupants suffer headaches and nausea, with one complainant saying the condition caused a minor crash.
CarComplaints.com has complaints about Ford Explorer exhaust problems: