AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Police Division on Friday pulled almost four hundred Ford Explorer SUVs from its patrol fleet over worries about exhaust fumes contained in the automobiles.
Ford Motor Co. responded by promising to restore the automobiles, even because it continues to research the reason for the issue.
The transfer comes as U.S. auto security regulators examine complaints of exhaust fume issues in additional than 1.three million Explorers from the 2011 by way of 2017 mannequin years. In Austin, greater than 60 officers have reported well being issues since February and greater than 20 have been discovered to have measurable carbon monoxide of their techniques, metropolis officers stated Friday.
“We have to take away these automobiles instantly,” interim Metropolis Supervisor Elaine Hart stated “We have to maintain [officers] protected in addition to our group.”
The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration has discovered greater than 2,seven hundred complaints of exhaust odors within the passenger compartment and fears of carbon monoxide in an investigation began a yr in the past. Among the many complaints have been three crashes and forty one accidents, principally lack of consciousness, nausea and complications.
Most of the complaints got here from police departments, which use the Police Interceptor model of the Explorer in patrol fleets. Police complaints included two crashes with accidents and one damage allegation because of carbon monoxide publicity.
Whereas a number of giant police departments have been conscious of the difficulty and put in carbon monoxide detectors of their automobiles, Austin seems to be first main metropolis to tug giant numbers of police Explorers off the street.
In a press release launched late Friday, Ford stated it has found holes and unsealed areas behind some Police Interceptors that had gear put in after leaving Ford’s manufacturing unit. Ford stated police and hearth departments routinely drill holes within the backs of automobiles so as to add custom-made lighting, radios and different gear.
Ford stated it’s going to cowl the price of repairs to any Police Interceptor which will have this concern, no matter age, mileage or modifications.
The corporate stated it should verify for holes and seal them, recalibrate the air con to usher in extra recent air throughout heavy acceleration and verify engine codes to see if the automobiles have a broken exhaust manifold.
“There’s nothing we take extra critically than offering you with the most secure and…