Published: Tue, August 01, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Wausau Police take precautions for carbon monoxide leaks

Wausau Police take precautions for carbon monoxide leaks

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.

In Texas, the Austin Police Department has pulled almost 400 of its Ford Explorers off the street.

The U.S. government's auto safety agency has expanded an investigation into complaints of exhaust fumes inside Ford Explorer SUVs, adding two model years and almost 400,000 vehicles.

Even as it continues its investigation into the issue, Ford has promised it will cover the costs of specific repairs in every police Interceptor that may have exhaust leak concerns.

The NHTSA says so far more than 2,700 complaints have been filed with its agency and the investigation applies to vehicles made between 2011 and 2017.

KEEL News has reached out to the Police Chief and the Mayor to find out if we have had any problems with the Ford Interceptor SUV's, but have not heard back from them yet.

Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said in February, the office bought 10 carbon monoxide detectors and is continuing to rotate them among 30 Ford Explorers. "I haven't had any reports of officers smelling anything or not feeling well or anything like that". Ford did not say how much it expected to pay to fix police vehicles and said its investigation is ongoing. City officials removed 400 SUVs from the police department fleet. It seems exhaust fumes have been leaking into the cabin of the cars.

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It's a problem that's led to almost 400 similar Explorers parked in Austin, Texas, where dozens of officers have reported health problems.

"We wanted to get in front of it, make sure everybody was protected", Nelson said of the detector being installed in troopers' vehicles.

Despite the lack of conclusive and documented linkage between injury reports and carbon monoxide poisoning, the NHTSA notes that carbon monoxide levels "may be elevated in certain driving scenarios".

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

Ford acted amid concerns by some police departments about the safety of officers. 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.

Investigators will evaluate the cause, frequency and safety consequences of the cracks, and whether Explorers used by civilians are experiencing cracked manifolds, the agency said. Customers also can call a dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575.

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