As you may have heard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has expanded their investigation into carbon monoxide leaks in the Ford Interceptor Utility. There have been 2,700 complaints about exhaust fumes in the cabin which has possibly lead to three crashes and 41 injuries. Exhaust fumes getting into the car while being operated, allegedly cause the driver to pass out and get in an accident.
This problem has particularly been affecting the Police Interceptor Utility version of the Explorer. The police force in Austin, Texas has pulled all 400 of its Interceptor Utilities from duty for safety concerns. 20 Texas police officers have been found with elevated carbon monoxide levels.
Ford is making an effort to get in front of the issue by saying they will cover the cost of repairs for every Police Interceptor Utility made since it was introduced in 2011. Ford says the excessive leaks in the police versions of the popular SUV could be linked to aftermarket police equipment leaving holes in the underbody giving the exhaust a place to enter the cabin. Another way it gets in is cracked exhaust manifolds.
Ford and the NHTSA are also investigating 1.33 million explorers for a reported smell in the cabin. To be clear, carbon monoxide is an odorless gas and thus the current complaint in the civilian explorer does not run along the current carbon monoxide issue.
If you’re on a police force with these increasingly ubiquitous Ford Explorers on duty, we encourage you to take advantage of the free repairs being offered by Ford.