Ford Motor Company is facing scrutiny after failing to issue a recall for certain Explorer SUVs that may be leaking exhaust containing carbon monoxide into the interior of the vehicles. Instead, the auto giant is offering to fix the issue for free, but only until December 2018.

According to CBS News, 1.3 million letters went out to those driving Ford Explorers with models produced between 2011 and 2017, indicating the vehicles are safe and the offer for free repairs is simply for consumers’ “peace of mind.” The report indicates Ford has been aware of the issue since at least 2012 and has received more than 2,000 complaints but denies claims of a safety issue.

Nearly 1300 complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have surfaced, and it is unknown just how many people may have experienced carbon monoxide poisoning or other health issues due to the exhaust fumes entering their vehicle. Carbon monoxide itself is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, making it nearly impossible for humans to detect. CO poisoning is often characterized by headache, dizziness, weakness and other symptoms like upset stomach, chest pain and vomiting. Carbon monoxide often causes people to pass out and can be deadly if not detected.

Ford Motor Company has refused to admit this could be a serious safety concern, and the NHTSA says it is working to determine if the issue is related to a potential safety defect. However, we know experiencing a medical emergency behind the wheel can be deadly both to the driver, passengers, and other vehicles on the roadway.

If you drive a Ford Explorer manufactured between 2011 and 2017, we recommend you take your vehicle to a nearby Ford dealer — especially if you have smelled exhaust odors inside the vehicle. Dealers will inspect the vehicle for free and provide services that could fix any potential issues. If you have questions about your Explorer, you may reach Ford’s dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575.

For more than three and a half decades, the lawyers at The Ruth Law Team have assisted victims of car accidents get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. For more information on how we can assist you after an accident, dial 888-783-8378 to speak to an attorney.