pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
25,918 miles
Total Complaints:
29 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (24 reports)
  2. no solution noted by dealership (5 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

problem #29

Aug 062017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,071 miles

Under full acceleration, wide open throttle, the smell of exhaust will come into the vehicle. Does not matter if windows are open, seems to be less smell, or if closed windows, comes in during and after acceleration. Seems to dissipate over the new 4 to 5 minutes, maybe you lose your sensitivity to it... Run AC frequently during summer and even on re-circulation the smell is in the vehicle. Have not had to run heater so do not have any input on that. If I just run on vent of outside air still notice the smell. To date, have not had any symptoms that I could note, just not sure how much it may affect me as I will often open windows for a minute and then clears the interior.

- , Hot Springs Village, US

problem #28

Sep 012016

Explorer Sport V6 Ecoboost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,100 miles

Initially noted the exhaust smell in the cab on acceleration. Changed air mixer to recirculation as suggested, but to no avail. Now a more significant concern due to a newborn being transported in the vehicle.

- , Kailua-Kona, HI, USA

problem #27

Jun 142017

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

Exhaust odors in vehicle compartments. When parked for long time and start it, a terrible smell. I have to open the windows to get rid of it.

- , Louisville, KY, US

problem #26

Feb 132015

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,112 miles

My husband bought me my Explorer as a Valentine's gift in 2015. Not long after we had the vehicle, I noticed a really bad smell. I would cough the whole time in the vehicle. Not just a regular cough, I was coughing up phlegm and had to take breathing treatment as soon as I got out of the vehicle. When I drove a distance I would start falling asleep. I would have to roll the windows down and fight to stay awake. My 14 year old daughter would always complain of a headache and every time my grand babies would ride with me they would fall asleep within 10 minutes of being in the car. I have 4 kids and 3 grandchildren that was always riding with me.

We didn't have the money to have it fixed. After all the stories started coming out on the news I did research to see if our symptoms could be from the problem with the car, and of course it did, went to trade it in after driving it for 2 years, learning of the problems that it had I didn't want to continue putting me and my family at risk, no one wanted to give us anything for the vehicle we still owed over 20 thousand we finally found someone that would take it as a trade in but we were so upside down that our payments are way more.

I'm really upset that we should have to pay the consequences due to a malfunction of the vehicle! What does Ford plan on doing about this? If it would have not been for that problem I would still be driving my Explorer, I loved it but it was a danger.

- , Carthage, TX, US

problem #25

May 012017


  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The smell of fumes filters throughout the cab. I have a family of five and we use this truck to go on trips. It has made us sick at times. We never knew why we would feel sick after being in the truck for periods of time but now it is clear.

Update from Jul 31, 2017: WOW!!! Took it to Ford and they said it is a known issue and are going to charge me just to look at it! They know it is a problem and will not touch it unless I pay for their design problem or there is a recall! This is horseshit! I will NEVER buy another Ford! Way to take ownership of a problem that is known to cause sickness, crashes and possible death if the driver passes out while driving Ford!

- , West Melbourne, US

problem #24

Aug 302014

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,200 miles

During high acceleration, with or without AC on, there is be a strong order of exhaust in the cab. If the acceleration is continuous for some time, I roll down the windows...to be safe.

- , Redmond, WA, US

problem #23

Jun 232017

Explorer LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

Had terrible smell in explorer when driving to vacation destination. Had to open windows to help rid interior of smell. Have noticed smell several times since

- , Manville, US

problem #22

May 012015

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

I've had my explorer for 3 1/2yrs. I like the vehicle a lot but have been concerned over the exhaust smell for the past couple of yr. It's noticeable during high speed acceleration, At first I thought it was the outside air, but ensuring the vent was closed has not made a difference. Since purchasing the SUV in Jan 2014, I was diagnosed with throat cancer. Successful treatment yielded some changes in my sense of taste and smell. I thought treatment might have added to my sensitivities. Now I wonder if exposure might have been the cause of my original health problem or enhanced the progression of the disease. I'm concerned that Ford hasn't issued a recall, but will be pushing them for a remedy.

- , Ocala, US

problem #21

Feb 032014

Explorer Limited 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles

My wife and son have had frequent headaches after driving in our vehicle for long periods of time. We initially thought they were getting motion sickness but after finding out that there are significant issues with Explorers and exhaust fumes the problem is likely a result of exhaust fumes in the vehicle. We have continuously had a rotten egg smell coming from the vent which I assumed the a/c filters needed changed. Changed all the filters in the vehicle and sprayed the vent system with an odor treatment but the smell didn't go away. Scheduling an appointment with the dealer and am going to conduct carbon monoxide tests.

- , Guyton, US

problem #20

Mar 142015

Explorer XLT 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

We don’t drive this car too much (you can see it has low mileage for a 3 year old car). We didn’t notice it when windows were down, but then noticed the exhaust smell when the AC was on. At first didn’t think much about it, then seemed to get worse as the time when on. It was noticed more when you accelerate hard or when you kick it down to pass.

I plan to make a complaint to the NHTSA, Ford customer service and the dealership.

My point was to get it on record! Hopefully the more people that complain the more impact it will have.

- , Asheville, NC, US

problem #19

Jun 072017

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

I have a family of 2 young children and the smell coming into my car is a real problem. It was making us nauseous. The dealership is making a fix but does not guarantee that this will fix it. They mentioned other owners saying it is not entirely fixed, that they can still smell it, but its not much to complain. I do not like that I have to breathe this in let alone have my children suffer. This is not safe at all. The problem was soo bad that when I pulled into my house, the smell infiltrated throughout my house . My husband followed me to the dealership and he said he could smell my car from a mile behind me. This is a serious problem. Also not okay that we have to pay out of pocket for this issue. We have a warranty, and this is something that should be part of it. It's not like its a battery or something. The exhaust is connected to the engine which in turn should be part of a warranty coverage. I hope this can be taken care of and we can get reimbursed.

- , Magnolia, DE, US

problem #18

Oct 152015

Explorer Sport Ecoboost V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,400 miles

This was the second time we brought this car in for the fumes in the cabin of the car. They had it for about a week this time working on ford's new fix, and when we picked it up and drove away it seemed to be fine but a couple of weeks later and the smell is back. I don't think ford really had any idea of how to fix this problem. The vehicle really should be condemned, you pay 50,000 for a car and exhaust gas is coming in the cabin of the car. WTF.

- , Collins, US

problem #17

Sep 072015

Explorer Sport Ecoboost V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

At around 10,000 miles we started smelling a bad odor inside the cabin of the vehicle. It kind of smells like burnt hair. We took it to the dealership we bought it from and brought it in to have it checked. The service manager said they could not find anything or get it to smell, so we picked it up. From there we drove about 5 miles and the smell came back so we made a u turn and asked the service manager to go for a ride. After about 2 minutes the smell was very strong and he was not sure what it was. They had it for a week or so and said they fixed the problem the way that the ford bulletin said to. It worked for a couple of weeks but the smell came back.

- , Collins, US

problem #16

Mar 152017

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Please fix exhaust fumes from coming into cabin after acceleration!

- , Sunset, LA, US

problem #15

Nov 012014

Explorer FWD 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,971 miles

Unresolved exhaust smell in cabin, not fixed since the time car purchased. Helpless to discuss with Ford dealers registered several complaints, no use.

- , Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia

problem #14

Mar 152017

Explorer Sport 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

We experience a strong odor in the cabin when accelerating, typically while getting onto a highway. Researching the issue, I have found that several lawsuits have been filed, yet Ford has done nothing.

The concern is that the exhaust fumes carry high levels of carbon monoxide into the vehicle. This is our family vehicle that is used to transport two young children on a daily basis. Exposure to carbon monoxide should be something Ford takes more seriously.

Step up and do the right thing Ford.

- , Chesterfield, MO, US

problem #13

Jul 012015

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

The smell comes and goes, smells like burning rubber.

- , Palmetto, GA, USA

problem #12

Feb 172017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,112 miles

The exhaust smell is annoying and usually appears when accelerating onto the freeway, going up a hill, or while towing a trailer, usually when the windows are up and the A/C is on. Had it serviced at Galpin Ford in North Hills, CA and picked it up on 2/17/17 where they performed TSB 16-0166. I was hopeful that this would resolve the issue, however on a recent trip to San Diego, my 2 younger kids both complained that the back of the car smelled like rotten eggs. I quickly lowered the windows and drove back to Los Angeles with the windows down. My car is currently at my local dealership (Sunrise Ford) where they are unable to replicate the problem (of course). They advised that they found a TSB that they think will resolve the issue, but of course, that was performed the previous month at another dealership. I am now waiting to see what they say.

- , Burbank, CA, US

problem #11

May 302016

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

After driving at high speeds on expressway then exiting and stopping at a stop light, the cabin fills with exhaust fumes. I go to work everyday with a headache and I have had a cold that I cannot seem to get rid of. My kids don't even want to ride in the truck anymore. Is there a fix for this?

Update from Mar 24, 2017: There is a hopeful fix for this problem! Go to www.explorerexhaustsettlement.com. I have an appointment to have mine looked at tomorrow. I am hoping for the best!

Update from Apr 4, 2017: Car unable to be fixed. Had to emergently get rid of it due to taking family on vacation the next day. Got a terrible trade in value due to exhaust smell in cabin noted by inspector. These cars should be taken off the road. They are not safe.

- , Riverside, US

problem #10

Jan 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

the problem is making us sick and putting the driver to sleep its an exaust problem please help us fix this problemn

- , Newfoundland, US

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