Ford to fix carbon monoxide issues in police SUVs

Marlene Weaver
August 1, 2017

The issue with the first responder Ford Explorer Interceptor has been known for months, but CBS News reports that over the weekend, federal regulators expanded their investigation, impacting around 1.3 million vehicles.

More than 60 officers there have reported health problems since February, and more than 20 were found to have measurable carbon monoxide in their systems, city officials said.

The U.S. government's auto safety agency has expanded an investigation into complaints of exhaust fumes inside Ford Explorer SUVs, adding two model years and almost 400,000 vehicles.

Friday evening, Ford Motor Company said it will cover the cost of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor with a leak concern, regardless of age, mileage or after-market modifications made.

NHTSA says that more than 2,700 complaints have been filed by those concerned they've been exposed to carbon monoxide while in the vehicles.

The Tucson Police Department will install detectors in its Explorers. Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said Austin will have just as many officers on patrol, but that they will ride in pairs.

Ford said last week that it believes the problem to be largely confined to police vehicles, nearly all of which have holes drilled through various parts of them for equipment mounts, possibly allowing allowing fumes to seep in. As of Thursday, the agency has found no evidence or data to support claims that injuries or crash allegations were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

It's a problem that's led to almost 400 similar Explorers parked in Austin, Texas, where dozens of officers have reported health problems.

Investigators will evaluate the cause, frequency and safety consequences of the cracks, and whether Explorers used by civilians are experiencing cracked manifolds, the agency said. Each complaint said exhaust fumes leaked into the cabin, resulting in officers becoming ill.

The process to change over the vehicles starts Saturday as teams from the City's Fleet and IT departments begin removing computers, weapons, and other equipment from the Explorer Interceptors.

Some departments reported crashes and injuries linked to carbon monoxide. If a vehicle has such an odor, customers should bring it to a Ford dealer to address that issue.

"The Idaho Falls Police Department has been notified of the recall on the 2011-2017 Ford Explorers and is working with the city garage and with the dealers to get replacement parts ordered", a city spokeswoman said in a statement. Customers also can call a dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575.

Other reports by Insurance News

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