Local law enforcement addresses concerns over Ford Explorers and carbon monoxide poisoning


The Austin Police Department in Texas pulled all of its Explorers from service last week after discovering measurable levels of carbon monoxide in 60 of the vehicles and 20 of their officers.

There have been other police departments across the USA reporting similar issues.

The Pueblo Police Department has just over 30 police Ford Explorers in its fleet, 22 of which were purchased past year.

Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said in February, the office bought 10 carbon monoxide detectors and is continuing to rotate them among 30 Ford Explorers. Both have returned to work.

The issue surrounds Ford's Explorer version of the Police Interceptor.

When a police or fire department routinely install customized emergency lighting, radios and other equipment, they have to drill wiring access holes into the rear of the vehicle.

The City of Wausau typically inspects cars once a year. Manley added that the overall number of officers on duty won't change.

Thousands of complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past several months.

The agency said they are expanding their investigation of model year 2011-2017 Ford Explorer SUVs based on a total of 791 complaints, which is up from the initial 154 complaints they began investigating a year ago.

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"Safety is our top priority", Weigandt said. He says so far, no elevated levels of carbon monoxide have been found.

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

To address these concerns, Ford is announcing today 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.

"She was treated at a nearby hospital and was released the same day", Thibodeaux said.

Some officers are taking their battle against Ford to court.

"This quarter shows the underlying health of our company with strong products like F-Series and commercial vehicles around the world, but we have opportunity to deliver even more", President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said. A police officer in Newport Beach, California, crashed his police SUV into a tree after blacking out behind the wheel. LaHood and McDowell are suing Ford over the incidents.

If you drive an Explorer that's not a police vehicle, you don't have any reason to be anxious.

- Laura Díaz-Zúñiga and Chris Isidore contributed reporting.