MONTVILLE, NJ – According to a report from NBC News, police across the country are reporting that Ford Explorer SUVs used by their departments are causing problems due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The Auburn, MA police department pulled nine Ford Explorers from their fleet recently after high levels of the toxic gas were detected, the NBC report stated. Problems have also been detected in Ford Explorers used in police departments in Texas, Louisiana and California, with departments pulling the SUVs from their fleets after accidents and problems, according to NBC.
The Ford Motor Company has released a statement that reads in part, according to NBC News, “Safety is our top priority and we are concerned for those involved.”
“When a police or fire department routinely installs customized emergency lighting, radios and other equipment, they have to drill wiring access holes into the rear of the vehicle. If the holes are not properly sealed, it creates an opening where exhaust could enter the cabin,” reads a release from Ford.
Ford Executive Vice President in charge of Product Development Hau Thai-Tang said, “We have not found any elevated levels of carbon monoxide in any Ford Explorers.” Further, Ford has offered to pay for repairs that may have the carbon monoxide concern.
However, with 2,719 complaints coming in to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration regarding the 2011 through 2017 Explorer models, including civilian models, an investigation is underway.
TAPinto Montville spoke to Montville Township Police Department spokesman Captain Andrew Caggiano to see if the MTPD has any of the SUVs in question.
Caggiano confirmed that the MTPD has five Ford Explorers: two 2014s, one 2016, and two 2017s.
“We’ve had no reported issues, however,” he said.
To be on the safe side, portable carbon monoxide sensors have been ordered for the vehicles and will be installed the week of August 7, he said.
“We’re trying to be proactive for the safety of our officers,” Caggiano said.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause headaches, nausea and fatigue. It can also cause dizziness and fainting.
Customers with concerns about Explorers and Police Interceptor Utilities can call Ford’s dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575 or visit their local Ford dealership.