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Cornelius News

Cornelius Police install exhaust monitors on Explorers

​July 31. By Dave Yochum. The Cornelius ​Police Department has installed carbon monoxide detectors in 18 Ford Explorers after nationwide reports of potentially dangerous levels of CO in the popular police vehicles. Austin, Texas, pull​ed ​​more than 400 Ford Explorers from its​ fleet last week.

​The 18 Ford Explorers​ represent 25 percent of the town’s police department fleet. Civilian Ford Explorers, which are not modified for police duty, are apparently not affected.

Cornelius Police have a total of 72 vehicles​; ​43 are assigned to patrol and the rest are assigned to detectives, lake patrol​ and​ administrative​ staff,​ ​​as well as several specialty vehicles such as ​a crime scene van and ​a ​bucket truck.

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 million vehicles.

Ford said it will cover the costs of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Explorer SUV 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​ Friday​.

Drivers of regular, non-police Ford Explorers have no reason to be concerned​, according to Ford PR.​

While there have been reports of exhaust odors in some regular Explorers, those instances are unrelated to reports of carbon monoxide described by some police departments. If a vehicle has such an odor, customers should bring it to a Ford dealer to address that issue.

When a police or fire department routinely install 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.

To address these concerns, Ford is announcing today it will cover the costs of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Utility that may have this concern, regardless of age, mileage or aftermarket modifications made after purchase.

Ford will:

  • Check and seal off the rear of the vehicle where exhaust can enter
  • Provide a new air conditioning calibration that brings in more fresh air during heavy acceleration typical of police driving
  • Check for engine codes that could indicate a damaged exhaust manifold

The city of Austin, Texas, is pulling all 446 Ford Explorers from its police fleet after detecting potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the vehicles. The Austin Police Department has experienced carbon monoxide issues over the past five months. More than 60 workers’ comp reports have been filed by officers for exposure to carbon monoxide. Twenty of those officers had a measurable level of carbon monoxide in their system when they were tested.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TIERONE GRAPHICS, MOORESVILLE

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