Teams of Ford Motor Company engineers have found “similar types of holes and unsealed spaces in the back of some Police Interceptor Utilities” that had been fitted with additional equipment after leaving the factory, which the automaker believes may be causing officers’ exposure to elevated levels of carbon monoxide within the vehicles’ cabins. Ford last month announced that it would pay to repair all Ford law enforcement SUVs with the reported issue, even in cases where aftermarket upfitting was to blame.
Ford engineers are currently working with more than a dozen law enforcement agencies across the US to inspect and repair the vehicles. Thus far, they’ve gone through more than 50 Ford Police Interceptor Utilities in places like Auburn, Massachusetts and Galveston, Texas, checking and sealing vehicle bodies, recalibrating A/C systems to circulate more fresh air during hard acceleration, and scanning for engine codes that could suggest a leaking exhaust manifold.
At this point, signs tend to point to improperly sealed holes made in the rear of the vehicle during the fitment of aftermarket equipment as the likely culprit. Ford says those holes allow exhaust gases to enter the cabin, which has so far been linked to several crashes and numerous instances of high carbon monoxide exposure.
An unrelated NHTSA investigation is looking at some 1.33-million Ford Explorer and Police Interceptor Utility SUVs after complaints of an exhaust odor in the cabin. The investigation has not yet led to a recall.