Carbon monoxide detectors installed in some Greater Cincinnati police vehicles

Allan Goodman
August 1, 2017

What started as varied complaints on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site has snowballed into an ever expanding probe into Ford's 2011-2017 Explorer model ( F ), as consumers report unsafe exhaust fumes being present in the passenger cabin.

The city of Austin, Texas, is pulling the Ford Explorer from its police fleet after detecting potentially risky levels of carbon monoxide in 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 city of Austin, Texas, is pulling all 446 Ford Explorers from its police fleet after detecting potentially risky levels of carbon monoxide in the vehicles.

So far, Ford has only stated it will pay to fix all police vehicles with the issue, but denies that any elevated carbon monoxide levels have been found in the standard model.

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I am still calling them as "missing persons", will continue to search for them, she reiterated. It is a sin to declare someone is dead without any evidence.

In a statement, the city said the vehicles will not go back into service until they are "confident the risk to our employees has been eliminated". This move comes after several officers have suffered from carbon monoxide exposure. Ford has also launched its own investigation into the matter and already has discovered holes and unsealed spaces in the back of some Police Interceptor Utility vehicles that had police equipment installed after leaving the factory.

Area law enforcement agencies have installed carbon monoxide detectors in some of their vehicles after reports of an apparent leak that allows exhaust fumes to leak into the cabin.

It's a problem that's led to almost 400 similar Explorers parked in Austin, Texas, where dozens of officers have reported health problems. Ford said the problem does not affect regular, non-police Ford Explorers.

While a small handful of police support vehicles have yet to be placed in storage, the city says they are not actively being used. "We have not found elevated levels of carbon monoxide in regular Ford Explorers".

The agency, along with representatives from Ford, have been in Austin investigating the vehicles. Among the complaints were three crashes and 41 injuries, mostly loss of consciousness, nausea and headaches. Customers with concerns can call a dedicated hotline at (888) 260-5575 or visit their local dealer. 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.

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