Probe into Ford Explorer fumes expands

News

(NBC News/WCMH) – Police in Austin, Texas will no longer be driving Ford Explorer police cruisers.

The move comes after more than 60 officers have filed workers compensation claims in the past five months citing exposure to carbon monoxide.

Twenty officers had detectable levels of the dangerous gas in their blood.

Police Sergeant Zachary Lahood is suing Ford, claiming he was left with neurological problems after being poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Dashcam video shows the moment Lahood realized something was wrong.

Ford says it is working with “police customers, police equipment installers, police advisory board members and the NHTSA to investigate reported issues and solve them.”

Police aren’t the only people affected by the fumes. Last year, the NHTSA began investigating complaints for Ford Explorer model years 2011 through 2015. At that time last year, there were only 154 complaints, but the agency is now looking into 791 complaints.

The automaker told NBC News police department modifications might contribute to exhaust-related issues. So far, the federal government hasn’t found any evidence that carbon monoxide poisoning has caused any injuries or crashes.

Customers who are concerned about Explorers can reach out to Ford’s dedicated hotline at 888-260-5575 or visit a local Ford dealership.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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