Across the country, police officers have been getting hurt due to potential defects in certain models of Ford Explorer. The biggest problem seems to be in Austin, Texas, where 62 workers’ comp reports have been submitted due to carbon monoxide poisoning in the last five months. Of those officers tested, 20 had measurable levels of carbon dioxide in their blood. Three have yet to return to work. More than2,700 complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The problem has gotten bad enough that Austin Police plan to replace the whole Explorer fleet.
The problem has arisen in Louisiana, as well. James Thibodeaux, captain of the Henderson Police Department, said that one of his officers passed out while driving and crashed after spending 11 hours behind the wheel of her explorer. She had to undergo oxygen treatment because two hours after the accident, the carbon monoxide in her blood was still at near fatal levels.
Carbon monoxide is also being looked at as a cause of a fiery crash in Modesto, California that killed a Deputy and a community service officer.
Other police officers who have suffered injuries from these potential defects are suing Ford over the incidents. The company has vowed to repair all affected Ford Explorer vehicles, but has also claimed that the defects may be due to police modification, as opposed to a design or manufacturing error.