24 MPD Ford Explorers equipped with carbon monoxide detectors as a precaution

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MANCHESTER, NH – The recent national news involving police department Ford Explorers  with reported carbon monoxide poisoning complaints across the country has prompted Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard to order and have installed carbon monoxide detectors in all 24 MPD Ford Explorers as a precaution.

“Due to recent developments, I have taken a proactive approach by placing carbon monoxide detectors in all of our Ford Explorers until the ongoing issues are resolved by Ford. The safety of my men and women is paramount, ” Willard said.

Reuters reports that the issues present in Police Interceptor Explorer SUVs may be related to after-market installation of police equipment. The Ford company has determined that the modifications may have left holes in the underbody of the vehicles, allowing exhaust to enter the vehicles. Nationwide, the investigation into carbon monoxide complaints involves as many as 1.33 million vehicles.

Ford’s most recent response includes a promise to cover the costs of specific repairs.

“Safety is our top priority. We continue to investigate. To address police customers who drive modified vehicles in unique ways, we are covering the costs of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Utility that may have carbon monoxide concerns, regardless of modifications made after leaving Ford’s factory.”

[A complete statement issued by Ford is posted below.]

Each of the 24 Ford Explorers in the Manchester Police fleet have a carbon monoxide detector installed, thanks to the Manchester Fleet Maintenance Division. The installation took place Aug. 3 while the officers were informed about the extra safety precautions taken. Cost of the detectors was $536, according to Willard.

Ford statement from July 28, 2017:

Today, Ford Motor Company is taking action to help address the concerns of first responders driving Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles. Drivers of regular, non-police Ford Explorers have no reason to be concerned.

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.

Addressing specific concerns from Ford police customers, Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing said, “There is nothing we take more seriously than providing you with the safest and most reliable vehicles.”

Ford’s investigation into this issue is ongoing. However, the company has discovered holes and unsealed spaces in the back of some Police Interceptor Utilities that had police equipment installed after leaving Ford’s factory.

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:

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

Ford will continue investigating all reports from its police customers, including the exhaust manifold issue referenced by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If a customer believes their vehicle may be experiencing an issue, they should bring it to a Ford dealer, who is equipped to assess the vehicle and address the problem. Customers also can call a dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575.

About Carol Robidoux 5555 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.