Wary police officials in Cedar Park have installed carbon monoxide detectors in their fleet of Ford Explorer police interceptors after watching the Austin Police Department go through a months long series of events that threatened officers using Ford Explorers.
In June, Austin pulled 400 Ford Explorers from service after officers reported feeling dizzy while patrolling in the vehicles. Almost 80 incidents of officers feeling the effects of high levels of carbon monoxide have been reported in Austin.
Similar incidents, which Ford believes are being caused by aftermarket modifications, have been reported in several other cities across the country. Ford is offering to cover the costs of specific repairs to fix the carbon monoxide problems.
"We are aware of the issues in Austin and have not experienced a similar situation with any of our fleet vehicles," said Jennie Huerta, Cedar Park's media and communications manager.
"The city's up-fitting vendor has certified that they only use equipment installation methods approved by Ford. The city has kept an open dialogue with Ford, and Ford has assured us that our Ford Explorer vehicles are safe for operation," Huerta said. "Based on the best available data provided by Ford, Cedar Park will not experience such issues."
Like, Cedar Park, the Round Rock Police Department is installing carbon monoxide detectors in its Ford Explorers, but has yet to experience any problems.
Mike Neu, Leander's public information officer, said Leander uses Chevrolets for its fleet of police vehicles and has not experienced any problems.
"The Cedar Park Police Department has 35 Explorers. We’ve had no issues like the ones reported in Austin, but have installed CO detectors in each vehicle out of an abundance of caution. None of the detectors have alerted to any fume/exhaust problem," said Tara Long, the spokeswoman for the Cedar Park police department.
Police officials said Cedar Park currently plans to continue using Ford Explorers for its fleet of police vehicles, but will monitor and evaluate future vehicle purchases, depending on whether or not their are problems with the vehicles in the future.