The Austin Police Department has taken 37 Ford Explorers out of service over fears of carbon monoxide leaks plaguing the popular police vehicle.
Speaking to CBS News, Sgt. Zachary LaHood revealed that he almost died due to carbon monoxide leaks in his Ford Explorer police cruiser.
“I remember swerving to what I thought was a bus, I was going to go head-in to a bus or a, maybe it was a garbage truck, I think it was a bus. I’m lucky to be alive, I believe that. And I’m lucky I didn’t kill someone else or their family that night,” he said.
The alleged problem is said to be much larger than this single instance. It is reported that in the last week, six officers from Austin have been treated for carbon monoxide exposure due to issues with the Explorer.
CBS says that federal regulators are investigating these complaints as well as a further 450 filed for 2011-2017 Explorer models.
Austin isn’t the only place to have experienced issues. Californian police officer Brian McDowell slammed into a tree after alleged carbon monoxide exposure driving his Ford Explorer police vehicle. He, as well as at least six others in California, Texas and Louisiana are now suing Ford for the carbon monoxide exposure.
In a statement, Ford said that it has not found any issues with its police vehicles.
“We have investigated and not found any carbon monoxide issue resulting from the design of our Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles. We know police modify these vehicles, which can contribute to exhaust-related issues. We have provided instructions to help seal these modifications and are ready to inspect any vehicles with this concern.”