Ford Motor Company has announced it will offer to cover the cost of specific repairs in its Police Interceptor Utility vehicles with carbon monoxide concerns. This follows the Austin (Texas) Police Department's announcement that it would pull more than 400 PIUs out of service on Friday due to carbon monoxide concerns.
Addressing concerns from Ford police customers, Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing, said, “There is nothing we take more seriously than providing you with the safest and most reliable vehicles.”
Ford’s investigation into this issue is ongoing. However, the company has discovered holes and unsealed spaces in the back of some Police Interceptor Utilities that had police equipment installed after leaving Ford’s factory.
When a police or fire department routinely install customized emergency lighting, radios, and other equipment, technicians have to drill wiring access holes into the rear of the vehicle. If the holes are not properly sealed, it creates an opening where exhaust could enter the cabin, according to Ford.
To address these concerns, Ford stated the company will cover the costs of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Utility that may have this concern, regardless of age, mileage, or aftermarket modifications made after purchase.
Ford will check and seal off the rear of the vehicle where exhaust can enter, provide a new air conditioning calibration that brings in more fresh air during heavy acceleration typical of police driving, and check for engine codes that could indicate a damaged exhaust manifold.
The company will continue investigating all reports from its police customers, including the exhaust manifold issue referenced by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Ford emphasized that drivers of regular, non-police Ford Explorers have no reason to be concerned. While there have been reports of exhaust odors in some regular Explorers, those instances are unrelated to reports of carbon monoxide described by some police departments. If a vehicle has such an odor, customers should bring it to a Ford dealer to address that issue.
Any customer experiencing issues can bring their vehicles to a Ford dealer or call a dedicated hotline at (888) 260-5575.