CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – A Coral Springs family says their Ford Explorer made them sick.
Angela Sanchez-Knutson and her husband Tim Knutson are suing the Ford Motor Company trying to force the carmaker to recall hundreds of thousands of Explorers.
The Knutson’s bought their 2013 Ford Explorer Limited Edition in 2012.
Immediately they said that they began smelling exhaust every time they accelerated.
“So when you pushed on the accelerator, the exhaust comes right in through the car,” said Angela.
They say they took the car to their local Ford dealership at least seven times but the problem hasn’t been fixed. The couple and their three small children experienced headaches and what they say are other symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless colorless gas that when inhaled at high doses can cause death.
“The kids have thrown up on long trips and they were perfectly healthy. There was nothing wrong with them and they don’t experience motion sickness, so most likely it is caused by the car,” said Angela Knutson.
Tim, a Broward Sheriff’s Office firefighter/paramedic, finally tested the car in April of this year for carbon monoxide levels.
He says he drove for half an hour and the carbon monoxide levels registered 132 parts per million. Experts say anything above the 100 level is considered hazardous to your health.
The findings convinced the Knutson’s to stop driving their Explorer.
“I’m very angry and upset to know this car has put my family and myself in danger,” said Tim.
“I’m upset at putting our kids at risk. We drive that car on all our trips,” added Angela.
They said that Ford is aware of the issue because in a service bulletin the company notes “some 2011 through 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.”
“A manufacturer has a responsibility to provide a safe vehicle not one with deadly gas. And once they knew they have to fix it,” said attorney John Uustal.
Added co-counsel Michael Hersh, “They are exposing the most vulnerable segment of society, kids, to this dangerous gas.”
When CBS4 contacted the Ford Motor Company for comment we were told they, “could not comment on pending litigation.”
“It’s just not right as a consumer. You shouldn’t be in a car that’s putting your family and your health at risk,” said Angela.