CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) - A defect in Ford Explorers exposes passengers to lethal carbon monoxide and other gases, a federal class action alleges.
Angela Dixon, a resident of Broward County, Fla., says she leased a new 2013 Ford Explorer in October 2012 from a dealership in Lynbrook, N.Y.
When she brought the fifth-generation vehicle into the dealership for service, Dixon allegedly complained about an exhaust odor in the passenger compartment while the Explorer was in use.
Dixon says the dealership advised her that certain air-conditioning operation would resolve the issue, but that she had to bring the vehicle in to another dealership, this time in Plantation, Fla., for the same exhaust problem.
Carbon monoxide, "an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that is toxic to humans," enters Dixon's vehicle's passenger compartment as well, according to the federal complaint she filed in the Eastern District of New York.
Ford has issued two bulletins since 2012 regarding the possibility of an "exhaust odor" in some 2011-14 Explorers, but those notices "do not correct the condition, and they fail to acknowledge that carbon monoxide may enter the passenger compartment of affected vehicles," the complaint states.
Since such bulletins are provided to authorized dealerships, non-Ford automotive repair shops are not directly notified of the exhaust problems, Dixon says.
Ford purportedly fixed the problem upon receiving numerous complaints about the exhaust issue over the years, but it "provided no notice to plaintiff ... about the defect and the potential exposure to lethal carbon monoxide in 2011 through 2015 model-year Ford Explorers," the complaint continues.
Dixon says the various replacements or repairs that Ford recommended in its bulletins about the exhaust issue reveal that it was "hoping, but not knowing" of a way to remedy the exhaust-odor complaints.
The class seeks damages and covered repairs for the defectively designed vehicles, alleging breach of warranty, deceptive acts and other claims. It is represented by Steven Sachs with Levine & Grossman.
U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein and U.S Magistrate Judge Arlene Lindsay were assigned the case.
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