The city of Austin, Texas, is pulling the Ford Explorer from its police fleet after detecting potentially unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in the vehicles. In that time, 62 workers' comp reports have been filed by officers for exposure to carbon monoxide.
The NHTSA says more than 2,700 complaints have been filed by owners who were concerned they were exposed to carbon monoxide while in explorers, including those who drive them as police vehicles.
Ford told WLWT it will cover the costs of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Utility that may have this concern, regardless of age, mileage or aftermarket modifications made after purchase.
KEEL News has reached out to the Police Chief and the Mayor to find out if we have had any problems with the Ford Interceptor SUV's, but have not heard back from them yet.
The Washington State Patrol is equipping hundreds of its vehicles with carbon-monoxide detectors after six troopers since January have reported feeling sick from possibly inhaling exhaust fumes.
Ford Motor Co. responded by promising to fix the vehicles, even as it continues to investigate the cause of the problem.
The NHTSA has said almost 800 people have complained to the government about fumes, while Ford has received more than 2,000 complaints and warranty claims. Injuries range from loss of consciousness, headaches, crash-related injuries, and up to one carbon monoxide-related exposure injury.
"We are going to remove the Ford Explorer from the city's fleet, which comprises a large majority part of the APD patrol fleet", Chief Brian Manley said. 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. He said no elevated levels have been found, and no officers have reported symptoms.
If you do notice any unusual odors you can take your vehicle to a Ford dealer to have it checked out.
The company also said that the issues may be tied to after-market installation of police equipment, adding that the modifications may have left holes in the underbody of vehicles.
"Ford's investigation into this issue is ongoing". Customers also can call a dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575. James Thibodeaux, captain of the Henderson Police Department in Louisiana, said one of his officers passed out while driving and crashed after she spent 11 hours in an Explorer.