police SUV carbon monoxide poisoning

Keeping the streets safe may involve action from police departments that use Ford Explorers. This is because of the risk of police SUV carbon monoxide poisoning, where exhaust from the rear of the vehicle seeps into the vehicle’s air.

We have been covering the reports that police SUVs have problems with carbon monoxide emissions within the car. These police SUV carbon monoxide poisoning have only grown larger in number in the recent past. The Ford Explorer vehicle that is causing the problems is an extremely popular car in the United States and is a car often used by police officers. At this point, Austin, Texas is now looking into its fourth reported carbon monoxide leak in a police car, according to the Austin-American Statesman.

While one Newport Beach officer reported the gas nearly killed him, many others report a rotten egg-like smell that fills the car when the exhaust from the rear of the car seeps into the vehicle. The response from Ford has been less than enthusiastic and not satisfactory to the police departments who feel their officers lives are being threatened. The Austin police took extra precautions by installing warning systems in their police vehicles that would warn the officers when exhaust is seeping into the air. This line of action was prompted by another police officer in Austin who nearly passed out while driving in March, according to the Statesman. This most recent situation in Austin  was less dire thanks to the new warning systems.

The police officer who was driving noticed the warning system activated while driving. He pulled over and reported the incident without getting sick. These warning systems are a necessary precaution for those driving Ford Explorers, since Ford is not taking action to stop the problem of gas seepage. More police departments that use Ford Explorers should consider installing warning systems to prevent the occurrence of carbon monoxide poisoning while driving.

If the driver of the vehicle passes out while driving, the carbon monoxide poisoning could turn into a fatal automobile crash. The Newport Beach police officer crashed into a tree. He even said that he could have lost his life that day. This threat is very real to those with Ford Explorer SUVs. The necessary action to prevent carbon monoxide poisonings is not being taken by Ford, so police departments are having to take matters into their own hands and install warning systems. Making sure these incidents are reported and documented, not swept under the rug, is also an important aspect to fixing this dangerous problem.

After the first Austin case which prompted the department to install warning systems, there were two other reported incidents of carbon monoxide seeping into the air in the car. This makes the most recent incident the fourth documented case of carbon monoxide seepage into the police Ford Explorers in Austin, Texas. This is four times too many. The department made a very smart move installing the warning systems to (1) prevent fatal crashes caused by unconsciousness due to carbon monoxide poisoning and (2) to document the cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in their police vehicles.

Austin, Texas is not the only city who is concerned. Since the Austin police officer was sickened by carbon monoxide, many other departments across the country have reached out about how best to protect their officers. Many police departments across the country are affected by this problem. Austin, Texas is just one place that needs to and wants to help solve this problem.

2 replies
  1. Albert Donnay, CO Toxicologist
    Albert Donnay, CO Toxicologist says:

    I am surprised this post does not mention that the exhaust leak in Ford Explorers is the subject of a class action lawsuit covering 2011-2015 model years. As of May 2017, a settlement is pending in which Ford is offering owners two rounds of repair, including replacing the exhaust system, but not promising that either repair will stop the problem, which Ford still refuses to issue a recall for. The same “odor problem” is also being reported in 2016 and 2017 vehicles, as CBS and others first reported back in February, 2017, but no lawyers have yet taken up their case.

    see http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ford-explorer-lawsuits-exhaust-leak-carbon-monoxide/

    Unfortunately, the solution discussed in this blog of putting a CO detector in a vehicle may not prevent CO poisoning. If it’s a UL-listed home CO detector, it won’t alarm unless CO has been continuously over 70 ppm for 1-4 hours, or at the high end, over 400 for 4 -15 minutes. The “detectors” being installed by Austin PD are even worse, just paper “spots” that change color irreversibly when exposed to CO over time.

    Drivers concerned about being CO poisoned while in their vehicle should carry a portable CO detector with a digital display that can be set to alarm immediately, without delay, at any preset level. (I recommend alarming above the US EPA outdoor limit of 9ppm, which is more than 10 times the current US outdoor average to which most people are habituated). These cost $100-$200 in USA but less than $50 in UK. See for example the Fire Angel 9D model at http://fireangel.co.uk/products/carbon-monoxide-alarms/co-9d/ (I have no affiliation)


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