This case arises from Ford’s sale and lease of several hundreds of thousands of Explorer model vehicles that Ford knew or should have known are defective such that exhaust and other gases, including carbon monoxide, may enter the passenger compartments of the vehicles. The potential exposure to exhaust and carbon monoxide renders these vehicles unsafe to drive.
Ford’s Technical Service Bulletin 12-12-4 (“TSB 12-12-4”), “Explorer Exhaust Odor in Vehicle,” acknowledges that “[s]ome 2011-2013 Explorer vehicles may exhibit an exhaust odor in the vehicle with the auxiliary climate control system on. Customers may indicate the odor smells like sulfur.” Ford’s TSB 12-12-4 provides instructions which Ford claims will correct the exhaust odor in 2011 through 2013 model year Ford Explorers.
Subsequent to TSB 12-12-4, Ford issued Technical Service Bulletin 14-0130 (“TSB 14-0130”) “Exhaust Odor in Vehicle,” which acknowledges an exhaust odor in Explorer vehicles, and adds the 2014 and 2015 model year Explorers to the list of affected vehicles. TSB 14-0130 includes the same or similar service procedures outlined in TSB 12-12-4, and adds certain procedures not included in TSB 12-12-4.
Ford’s TSBs 12-12-4 and 14-0130 do not correct the condition, and they fail to acknowledge that carbon monoxide may enter the passenger compartment of affected vehicles. Ford’s TSBs 12-12-4 and 14-0130 are provided to authorized dealerships, and do not directly notify non-Ford automotive repair facilities about the defects associated with TSBs 12-12-4 and 14-0130. Further, although Ford has received numerous complaints relating to exhaust entering the passenger compartments of 2011 through 2015 model year Ford Explorers, and it developed a purported fix to the problem, Ford did not provide any notice to plaintiff about the defect and the potential exposure to lethal carbon monoxide in the 2011 through 2015 model-year Ford Explorers.
As alleged, Ford sold or leased hundreds of thousands of defective vehicles nationwide. Each such vehicle was sold or leased in a dangerous and defective condition because each such vehicle contains design flaws, and/or an exhaust and/or HVAC system, that permit exhaust and other gases, including carbon monoxide, to enter the passenger compartment during the normal and customary use of such vehicles.
Ford designed, manufactured, sold and leased the 2011 through 2015 model year Ford Explorers when it knew or should have known of such defects, or Ford otherwise learned of such defects and failed to notify plaintiff and the proposed class members of the defect in the 2011 through 2015 model year Ford Explorers that exposed plaintiff, the proposed class members, and others, to a life-safety hazard.
Plaintiff and the members of the proposed class reasonably expect to operate their Ford Explorer vehicles in a normal and customary manner free from exposure to potentially deadly gases.