PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The Philadelphia Police Department is among police departments around the nation taking a close look at some of the SUVs that officers drive every day.
The trouble has to do with carbon monoxide, which is leaking into some of the SUVs made by Ford.
They are Ford Explorer Interceptor SUVs–the city of Philadelphia has quite a few of them, and they are making negative headlines across the country because of carbon monoxide.
Austin Texas Interim Police Chief Brian Manley announced he’s pulling his entire fleet of Explorers after 20 police officers tested positive for carbon monoxide in their blood.
“I stand here confident that we’re making the right decision today based on what we know with the carbon monoxide exposure issue that we’ve had and the impacts that it has had on our workforce,” he said.
Authorities believe the exhaust is leaking into the vehicles. Federal regulators expanded their investigation into reports exhaust was leaking into the passenger cabin of Ford Explorers.
In Philadelphia, city employees drive Ford Interceptor SUVs—a version of the Explorer specially made for law enforcement. The city of Philadelphia has 203—188 are in the police department. A spokesman for the city of Philadelphia says city officials are in contact with Ford but have not discovered any problems locally.
But the town of Auburn, Massachusetts outside of Boston has seen problems—an officer lost consciousness and crashed an explorer on Wednesday. The officer tested positive for carbon monoxide.
“As a result, several vehicles have been taken out of service. I spoke with a representative from Ford, and they have engineers here in MA working on this issue,” said Andrew Sluckis, with the Auburn Police Department.
In a statement, a Ford spokesman said drivers of regular, non-police Ford explorers don’t need to be concerned. Ford is working with police departments around the country to check for problems.