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Ford offers repairs to prevent exhaust leaks in 1.4 mln Explorers

From Reuters - October 13, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said on Friday it will offer free repairs to North American owners of more than 1.4 million Explorer sport utility vehicles to help ensure that carbon monoxide and other exhaust gases cannot get into the vehicles, following the U.S. governments decision to upgrade an investigation into the issue in July.

Several U.S. police agencies have raised concerns about potentially deadly carbon monoxide gas entering the cabins of Ford Explorers that had been adapted for law enforcement uses. Federal regulators have said they are aware of more than 2,700 complaints, three crashes and 41 injuries that may be linked to exposure to carbon monoxide among police and civilian 2011-2017 Explorer vehicles.

Ford said its investigation has not found carbon monoxide levels that exceed what people are exposed to every day in the 1.4 million civilian vehicles. There is no U.S. government standard for in-vehicle carbon monoxide levels. Ford says it believes the vehicles are safe and is making the offer, which it is not classifying as a recall, in response to customer concerns.

The second largest U.S. automaker said starting November 1, dealers will reprogram the air conditioner, replace the liftgate drain valves and inspect sealing of the rear of the vehicle. The fix covers about 1.3 million U.S. vehicles and about 100,000 in Canada and Mexico.

Ford declined to comment on the potential financial impact of the service offer that will last through the end of 2018.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in July upgraded and expanded a probe into 1.33 million Ford Explorer SUVs over reports of exhaust odors in vehicle compartments and exposure to carbon monoxide.

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