KHP continues to deal with CO issues in patrol vehicles

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Highway Patrol says they’ve recorded high levels of carbon monoxide readings inside the cabin inside some of their Ford Police Interceptors

Ford has said that’s caused by the holes drilled to install after-market modifications.

A captain with the Kansas Highway Patrol in Wichita says they bought a brand new interceptor off the lot nearly a month ago, that’s the upgraded patrol vehicle that looks like the civilian Ford Explorer, and he says as soon as they tested it out they got high readings of carbon monoxide.

“It did. We put a CO meter, and it did register high,” says KHP Captain Joe Bott.

It was for one of the interceptors in Topeka, and he says Ford offered a fix.

“They basically extended and down turned the tail pipes, and they went through and replaced a lot of gaskets and grommets. They did a lot of sealing up of the vehicle itself to keep any carbon monoxide from getting inside the vehicle,” says Bott.

He says the fix has worked.

KSN reached out to representatives from Ford who say they have an ongoing investigation, and believe they have found a source to the issue.

In a video created by Ford Motor Company they offer some explanation.

They say, “We discovered that some police interceptor utilities that had holes and gaps in the rear of vehicles which were not properly sealed after being modified with police equipment, after leaving the factory.”

They say the problem is when law enforcement drilled holes to add aftermarket lights or other modifications.

But Captain Bott says nothing was done to the interceptor after they purchased it, and he says it registered at 70 parts per million when they tested it. Now, he says they’re getting all of their police interceptors outfitted with the fixes that include the downward tailpipe which Ford covers for free.

KSN asked Ford if any police interceptors, with or without modifications, have been found to have CO levels in them and in a statement they tell us, “Some levels of OO have been found that is not beyond the normal threshold of exposure experienced in everyday life, and we do not believe it poses a safety risk,” says Elizabeth Weigandt, Safety Communications Manager.

“My belief is going to be is the future vehicles that are manufactured and sent out are going to have these things taken care of already before they come out,” says Bott.

Officials with KHP say they are making fixes right now to 18 of their vehicles. You may be asking if you own a civilian Ford Explorer, should you be worried?

Ford tells KSN they do not believe there is a safety risk for civilian Explorers and CO levels have not been found beyond the normal threshold of exposure experienced in everyday life.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the investigation last year for 2011 through 2015 model years, for both police interceptor and civilian model Ford Explorers.

In July, they expanded it to include the 2016 and 2017 model years, totaling more than 1.3 million vehicles, both for law enforcement and for civilian Explorers.

Ford says if a customer has any concerns they should call the dedicated hotline 1-888-260-5575.

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