Ford To Repair Explorer Police Cars Over Carbon Monoxide Concerns

Departments take precautions with police cruisers

Departments take precautions with police cruisers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will now be checking out more than 1.3 million Explorers from 2011-2017 model years.

The Austin Police Department on Friday pulled almost 400 Ford Explorer SUVs from its patrol fleet over worries about exhaust fumes inside the vehicles.

"Over the past five months we have had 62 workers comps reports filed by officers for exposure to carbon monoxide", Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.

The Duluth Police Department has about 25 Ford Explorers in its fleet, according to Deputy Chief Nick Lukovsky, who said the city's squads don't appear to have the same issues. "However, the company has discovered holes and unsealed spaces in the back of some Police Interceptor Utilities that had police equipment installed after leaving Ford's factory", Ford said.

The NHTSA says so far more than 2,700 complaints have been filed with its agency and the investigation applies to vehicles made between 2011 and 2017.

The Champaign and University of IL police departments could not be reached for comment.

The city installed carbon monoxide alarms after officers began reporting getting sick while in the vehicles, and parked 60 of them when the alarms activated.

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Ford Motor Co. responded by promising to fix the vehicles, even as it continues to investigate the cause of the problem. If these holes are not properly sealed, they could create an opening where exhaust fumes could enter the cabin.

"Safety is our top priority". Numerous complaints came from police departments, which use the Police Interceptor version of the Explorer in patrol fleets.

APD experienced the first issues back in February when two officers reported problems with their vehicle.

The issue of exhaust fume leakage into the cabin may be linked to three crashes and 41 injuries, the NHTSA noted. If a vehicle has such an odor, customers should bring it to a Ford dealer to address that issue.

The agency also said that through cooperation with police departments, it has learned that the Police Interceptor version of the Explorer is experiencing exhaust manifold cracks that are hard to detect and may explain exhaust odors. Customers also can call a dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575.

Addressing specific concerns from Ford police customers, Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing said, "There is nothing we take more seriously than providing you with the safest and most reliable vehicles".

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