Park City Police concerned about CO levels in patrol vehicle

(KSN photo)

PARK CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — The Park City Police Department has parked one of its patrol vehicles, over concerns about carbon monoxide levels in the vehicle.

Sgt. Keith Goodall, Park City Police, first had concerns with his Ford Explorer Police Interceptor about a year ago, when he started smelling strange odors in his cruiser.

“As you come to a cruising speed it’s almost somehow the exhaust is coming back into the vehicle,” said Goodall.

After taking it into the local shop, mechanics found higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide. After multiple attempts to figure out what’s causing the problem, the department decided to park it.

“We have been without this car I would say off and on for about a month now,” said Goodall

Click to view Ford Technical Service Bulletin

Goodall took KSN along for a ride in the vehicle, with a carbon monoxide detector the department bought for the vehicle. About 5 minutes into the drive, the monitor went off, indicating the CO levels were rising.

“So we are at 27, 28 and still climbing, parts per million on this monitor. And there is your CO detector going off. We are at 30 parts per million right now, and that is in the from cabin,” said Goodall.

After Sgt. Goodall parked the vehicle and opened the windows the levels started to drop.

The Wichita Fire Marshal tells us any level over 35 parts per million is unsafe. That’s the advice that the Park City Police Department received that has prompted them to park the vehicle until further notice.

“Our chief has said no one is driving the car unless we figure out what is wrong with it and we make sure it is safe for people to operate. So we are down a car,” said Goodall.

The department has taken it into the shop six times and no fix yet.

“It is kind of a catch 22. We have to find out what is causing the problem to get it fixed,” said Police Chief Phil Bostian, Park City Police Dept.

The Chief has filed a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and has reached out to Ford. Both sent him a list of things to check as possible reasons for the problem.

The department continues to look into options that could fix the problem and says the local shop has been helpful in trying to figure it out, but until the department is sure it is safe to be driven, it will remain parked.

“So we are really in a holding pattern right now. We can’t drive the vehicle, we can’t do anything with it it is just parked,” said Bostian.

KSN reached out to Ford to get its response to the concerns.

“We take the safety of our customers very seriously,” said Elizabeth Weigandt, a Safety Communications Manager for Ford, in a statement to KSN. “In rare circumstances, there have been instances where customers detected an exhaust odor in Explorers and Police Interceptor Utilities. We have thoroughly investigated reports of exhaust odor and do not believe this odor condition poses a safety risk. If customers have a concern with their vehicles, they are encouraged to contact their local Ford dealership. In the case of Police Interceptors, odors can be caused by non-Ford modifications or repairs that were not properly sealed.” 

“If the root cause of an issue is discovered inside the terms of the vehicle’s warranty then the repair work will be covered by the existing warranty,” said Weigandt in an emailed response. “If the root cause of an issue is caused by modifications to the vehicle, then Ford warranty coverage does not apply. Customers who have any questions on this should contact their dealer or call Ford Customer Service at 1-800-392-3673.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has logged 154 complaints on the issue of exhaust leaking into the cabin and has an open investigation into the issue.

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