Austin PD pulls Ford Explorers from fleet after cops fall ill

Ford Explorers probed after carbon monoxide poisoning shows up in some drivers blood tests

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Video from a California Police Department shows an officer crashing his Ford Explorer after it filled up with carbon monoxide gas.

Ford says that they will cover the cost of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Utility that may be affected, regardless of age, mileage or aftermarket modifications made after purchase.

"We wanted to get in front of it, make sure everybody was protected", Nelson said of the detector being installed in troopers' vehicles. Ford did not say how much it expected to pay to fix police vehicles and said its investigation is ongoing.

It was a move, according to national reports, that came as US auto safety regulators investigate complaints of exhaust fume problems in more than 1.3 million Explorers from 2011 through 2017 model years. It seems exhaust fumes have been leaking into the cabin of the cars.

Austin's police department isn't the only one to have been impacted by faulty vehicles.

The issue of exhaust fume leakage into the cabin may be linked to three crashes and 41 injuries, the NHTSA noted. "ODI has obtained preliminary testing that suggests, however, that CO levels may be elevated in certain driving scenarios, although the significance and effect of those levels remains under evaluation as part of the EA".

The police chief in Blue Ash said they took action months ago. Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said Austin will have just as many officers on patrol, but that they will ride in pairs.

According to a statement on the State Patrol's blog, six troopers reported symptoms associated with possibly breathing in carbon monoxide while at work in Interceptors, a high-performance version of the Ford Explorer used by law enforcement.

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.

The agency, along with representatives from Ford, have been in Austin investigating the vehicles.

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. Check for engine codes that could indicate a damaged exhaust manifold.

The Idaho Falls Police Department told KIFI/KIDK that they "have not received reports of officers becoming ill due to issues related to the Ford Explorers". Customers also can call a dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575.

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