— A Ford Explorer class action settlement has been preliminarily approved after three SUV owners complained exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide entered their Explorers.
Included in the settlement are:
"All entities and natural persons in the United States (including its Territories and the District of Columbia) who currently own or lease (or who in the past owned or leased) a model year 2016 and 2017 Ford Explorer sold or leased in the United States, excluding 2016 and 2017 Police Interceptor Utility Ford Explorers." — Ford Explorer class action settlement
Ford says it decided to settle the class action lawsuit to avoid a costly and lengthy trial, and the automaker denies all liability and wrongdoing alleged in the Explorer lawsuit.
The plaintiffs claim Ford sold 2016-2017 Explorers with defects that allow exhaust fumes to enter the cabins and sicken occupants.
Ford has been issuing technical service bulletins (TSBs) and free customer service programs over the past years, and some of those programs are included as benefits of the Explorer class action settlement.
Ford Explorer Class Action Settlement Terms
Ford Explorer customers may also be eligible for exhaust odor repairs available under TSB 17-0044 which include inspection and sealing of gaps in the passenger compartment, and installation of a modified exhaust system in Explorers equipped with aspirated 3.5-liter engines.
TSB 17-0044 was originally issued to Ford dealers in May 2017 and included reprogramming the HVAC module, sealing and patching of any holes or air leaks and the installation of downturned exhaust tips in Ford Explorers with 3.5L twin independent variable camshaft timing (TiVCT) engine types.
However, the bulletin only applied when an Explorer owner had lodged repeated complaints about exhaust odors.
Ford Explorer customers may also be eligible for partial reimbursements for expenses related to post warranty technical service bulletin repairs. Explorer owners who had the FSA repairs performed on the SUVs and then pay for TSB repairs after expiration of their warranties are eligible for partial reimbursement of those costs.
However, those expenses must occur within four years or 48,000 miles after the Explorer was first placed in service (whichever comes first), or 120 days after the date for the completion of the class action notice.
If an Explorer customer is eligible after meeting those conditions, the customer may be reimbursed up to $125 for expenses related to the inspection and sealing of gaps in the passenger compartment.
Additionally, reimbursement may be up to $400 for costs related to the installation of a modified exhaust system in an Explorer equipped with a normally aspirated 3.5-liter TiVCT engine.
Attorneys for Ford owners are expected to receive $3.5 million.
A final fairness hearing for the Ford Explorer class action settlement will be held November 15, 2021.
The Ford Explorer class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division: Persad, et al., v. Ford Motor Company.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Miller Law Firm, P.C., and Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP.