(WWJ) Hundreds of Ford Explorer owners say their vehicle is making them sick with a rotten egg or sulfur exhaust smell leaking into the vehicle cabin that drivers fear could be toxic.
According to CBS News' Kris Van Cleave, Ford has issued three repair bulletins designed to fix the problem. But it's still an issue, he found.
Based on customer complaints and Ford's own documents, the issue seems to occur while accelerating with the air conditioning active and in circulation mode. A federal investigation was launched in July.
Newport Beach police officer Brian McDowell believes it's the reason he passed out behind the wheel of his 2014 Ford Explorer police cruiser and crashed into a tree while responding to a non-emergency call.
"I just think, plus or minus one second and I maybe wouldn't be here on this earth for my kids," McDowell told CBS News.
He recovered, and his doctor reportedly could find no reason for his sudden loss of consciousness. He suspects carbon monoxide was leaking into the car.
CBS News discovered there have been more than 450 complaints, ranging from 2011 to 2017 Ford models.
In a 2015 deposition, a company representative acknowledged it appears to be a "design issue." That remains unresolved – or as the representative said in court, "we're working on it."
The automaker has not notified customers about the complaints and findings, but admitted to CBS News: "In rare circumstances, there have been instances where customers detected an exhaust odor in Explorers," adding the issue "poses no safety risk."
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