We have to remember that historically, these were pretty much one of the first mass produced cars that had a cabin air filter standard. I feel like to this day a lot of people never even knew that one was in there, especially once they left the realm of dealer service as the cars aged.When I bought my dad's Taurus from him at 185K miles, I don't think filter had ever been replaced. It was totally packed with crud, and I couldn't find anything in the records about anyone ever installing a new one. It may explain why my mom had bad allergy problems, but he was always very conservative about running heat or a/c.
My Honda Civic doesn't have a cabin filter, so every few years I have to get under the dash and take out the blower to clean it out. I can get enough leaves and pine straw to fill a gallon ice cream bucket.