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CO Detectors Installed in Sheriff Cars


Following concerns that Ford Explorers could be leaking carbon monoxide, the Sheriff’s Office had its fleet of 10 vehicles tested by General Services, according to Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover. General Services did not find any issues with the vehicles, Hoover said, but “in an abundance of caution we have purchased carbon monoxide sensors.” The Explorers carrying canine units are scheduled to have sensors installed this week, she added.

[UPDATE] The Santa Barbara Police Department has 14 Ford Explorers in its fleet, according to police spokesperson Sgt. Josh Morton. “We have tested them and found no carbon monoxide intrusion into the passenger compartment,” he said, adding they installed carbon monoxide detectors in the vehicles just in case. “We do not have the same issues it appears as some of the other departments in the country, because the company our fleet department at the city uses to install the aftermarket products for police use does not make large modifications to the vehicles which have been found to possibly cause these leaks.”

California Highway Patrol (CHP), however, does not install CO meters in standard patrol vehicles. Throughout the state, CHP has 2,502 Ford Explorers. CHP spokesperson Jonathan Gutierrez said in an email, “Carbon Monoxide hazards exist with every fossil fuel powered motor vehicle. Like all vehicles, occasionally complaints arise and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) takes them seriously and addresses them on a case by case basis. The department addresses any complaints of exhaust odor or evidence of CO exposure if it exists through a comprehensive inspection, maintenance, and repair program utilizing certified dealerships for the model or models indicated.”

Ford, meanwhile, issued this statement: “Safety is our top priority. We continue to investigate. We have not found elevated levels of carbon monoxide in non-Police Ford Explorers. To address police customers who drive modified vehicles in unique ways, we are covering the costs of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Utility that may have carbon monoxide concerns, regardless of modifications made after leaving Ford’s factory.”

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