According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to carbon monoxide gas may leave those exposed suffering numerous and potentially life-threatening symptoms like dizziness, headaches, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. If exposure is prolonged, individuals may pass out and can subsequently die. In fact, an estimated 400 people in the U.S. die annually from CO poisoning and some 24,000 seek medical attention for and/or are hospitalized.
Given the significant health risks associated with exposure to the deadly gas, it goes without saying that CO exposure suffered by drivers of motor vehicles could not only adversely impact the health and safety of those vehicle occupants directly impacted; but also that of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
An ongoing punitive class-action lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company claims that company officials knew about design defects within several vehicle models that causes CO to "enter the passenger compartment." The lawsuit, which was filed in a New Jersey federal court, says Ford first learned about the potentially deadly defect in 2012 yet failed to warn customers of the serious problem or related health and safety risks.
What’s more, safety bulletins sent to Ford dealers from the parent company prove that Ford officials knew about the dangerous design defect. However, efforts to fix the problem have proved fruitless rendering those vehicles impacted essentially worthless. Models impacted include 2011-2015 Explorers and 2011-2013 Edge and MKX.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in district courts in California, Texas, Florida and New York. The New Jersey lawsuit asserts Ford violated numerous laws including the state's Consumer Fraud Act, Lemon Law and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Source: New Jersey Law Journal, "Class Action Against Ford Alleges Carbon Monoxide Exposure," Charles Toutant, July 6, 2015