Police pull Ford Explorers from service after carbon monoxide fears

No recalls on the Explore have been issued at this time
No recalls on the Explore have been issued at this time

IOWA PARK, TX (KAUZ) - Several Police Departments across the country have stopped driving ford explorers after a rise in carbon monoxide fears.

Police dash cam video captured one officer in California losing consciousness behind the wheel, causing him to drift into another lane and crashing into a tree line.

That officer is now blaming his blackout on carbon monoxide poisoning raising concerns for officers across the country, including Iowa Park Chief of Police Robert Johnson

Although Iowa Park and other departments Newschannel6 spoke with have had no issue with their Ford Explorers.

Chief Johnson found the reports alarming and said the safety of his officers is always a top priority.

"We don't want to put them in any situation that can be harmful," said Johnson.

A similar case also took place in Austin, Police Sgt. Zachary Lahood was on patrol in March when he became nauseous, light-headed, and began experiencing cognitive difficulties.

Before pulling into this parking lot, Lahood nearly collided with an oncoming bus.

His medical diagnosis, according to the lawsuit: "carbon monoxide poisoning."

The National Transportation Safety Administration has investigated more than 150 complaints from Ford Explorer owners about the smell of exhaust fumes in their SUV.

These issues have forced officers like Ken Casaday to pull police cruisers out of service.

Ford Motor Company is responding to allegations that their explorer's are flawed saying:

"We have investigated and not found any carbon monoxide issue resulting from the design of our Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles.  We know police modify these vehicles, which can contribute to exhaust-related issues. We have provided instructions to help seal these modifications and are ready to inspect any vehicles with this concern."

Ford Motor Company has settled a class action lawsuit related to several complaints.

After Sergeant Lahood's incident, Austin PD pulled 37 of their police interceptor out of service.

While the departments we spoke with say no issues have been found with their vehicles, they are aware of the situation.

Austin PD started adding carbon monoxide detectors to their vehicles in March and now more Police and Fire Department fleets across the country are doing the same.

As for Ford, no recalls on the Explore have been issued at this time.

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