Ford to repair U.S.
police vehicles after carbon monoxide concerns
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[July 29, 2017]
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said
Friday it will pay to repair police versions of its Ford Explorer SUVs
to correct possible carbon monoxide leaks that may be linked to crashes
and injuries after U.S. regulators escalated an investigation into 1.33
Ford said it will cover the costs of specific repairs in every Police
Interceptor Explorer SUVs that may be tied to after-market installation
of police equipment. The company said the modifications may have left
holes in the underbody of the vehicles.
"If the holes are not properly sealed, it creates an opening where
exhaust could enter the cabin," Ford said in a statement.
Ford acted amid concerns by some police departments about the safety of
officers. The city of Austin, Texas said Friday it was removing all 400
of the city’s Ford Explorer SUVs from use.
Several Texas media outlets cited a city memo that said 20 police
officers have been found with elevated levels of carbon monoxide and
three have not returned to work.
Ford said it has not found any elevated levels of carbon monoxide in
regular Ford Explorers, but NHTSA is investigating reports of exhaust
odors in those vehicles. Ford did not say how much it expected to pay to
repair police vehicles and said its investigation is ongoing.
On Thursday, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
said it was upgrading and expanding a probe into 1.33 million Ford
Explorer SUVs over reports of exhaust odors in vehicle compartments.
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The logo of Ford is seen during the 87th International Motor Show at
Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd
Police have reported two crashes that may be linked to carbon monoxide exposure
and a third incident involving injuries related to carbon monoxide exposure.
The auto safety agency said it was also aware of more than 2,700 complaints that
may be linked to exhaust orders and possible exposure to carbon monoxide and 41
injuries among police and civilian vehicles in the probe covering 2011-2017
model year Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles.
Ford has issued four technical service bulletins related to the exhaust odor
issue to address complaints from police fleets and other owners, NHTSA and Ford
NHTSA said it is evaluating preliminary testing that suggests carbon monoxide
levels may be elevated in certain driving scenarios.
NHTSA said it recently learned that the police version of the Ford Explorer was
experiencing exhaust manifold cracks.
The agency said the reported injuries include "loss of consciousness, with the
majority indicating nausea, headaches, or light-headedness."
(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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