Mukilteo police having Explorers examined for leaks

Officers here have yet to complain of carbon monoxide poisoning
By Nicholas Johnson | Aug 09, 2017

Though officers have yet to complain, the Mukilteo Police Department is having its Ford Explorer Police Interceptors examined for any potential carbon monoxide leaks.

“When we learned that departments outside Washington had experienced issues, we made contact with our local Ford Service Center, which services many of the other local agencies, and discussed the matter with them,” Assistant Police Chief Glen Koen said.

“We still have not had any reported issues with our vehicles, but we are going to have our vehicles examined nonetheless.”

Ford is expected to announce a major recall after receiving thousands of complaints of exhaust fume problems from departments around the country. Federal auto safety regulators are investigating the complaints of such problems in more than 1 million Explorers from the 2011 through 2017 model years.

About two-thirds of Mukilteo’s fleet consists of Explorers. Some 135,000 are on the road nationwide.

Concern was reignited July 28 after police is Austin, Texas, pulled 400 such vehicles from their patrol fleet after officers reported becoming sick from fumes inside the vehicles. Some 18 officers in Austin were found to have carbon monoxide in their blood.

In February, a Newport Beach, California, officer passed out and crashed into a tree while responding to a call in his 2014 Explorer. That officer has sued Ford over his injuries.

“Despite the fact that we have had no issues, we did distribute information to our officers about the possible defect, as well as the symptoms to look for regarding carbon monoxide poisoning,” Koen said.

Koen noted that nearby agencies have yet to report problems with their vehicles, though the Washington State Patrol pulled and repaired six Explorers late last month after two officers were hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning.

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