NHTSA expanding Ford Explorer carbon monoxide investigation

Departments take precautions with police cruisers

Ford has responded to the numerous carbon-monoxide claims by promising to make repairs as it investigates the complaints.

Ford will continue investigating all reports from its police customers, including the exhaust manifold issue referenced by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In Austin, Texas, 62 officers have filed complaints about carbon monoxide exposure, and 20 of those officers had elevated levels of carbon monoxide in their systems.

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

In a statement late Friday, Ford said they "will cover the costs of specific repairs in every police interceptor utility that may have carbon monoxide concerns".

Each of the unmarked vehicles will have several lights, "It'll look absolutely like a police auto", Manley said.

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

At least two area law enforcement agencies have installed carbon monoxide detectors in some of their vehicles after reports of a defect that allows exhaust fumes to leak into the cabin.

The company said police and fire departments routinely drill holes in the backs of vehicles to add customized lighting, radios and other equipment.

The NHTSA announced Thursday it is expanding its investigation into carbon monoxide problems with Ford Explorers. According to the NTHSA, the leaks may be linked to three crashes and 41 injuries, including an Austin police officer who allegedly passed out and hit a tree.

The Pueblo Police Department has just over 30 police Ford Explorers in its fleet, 22 of which were purchased previous year. If these holes are not properly sealed, they could create an opening where exhaust fumes could enter the cabin. If a vehicle has such an odor, customers should bring it to a Ford dealer to address that issue.

"Ford's investigation into this issue is ongoing".

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.

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. Customers also can call a dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575.

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