AUSTIN (KXAN) — The first batch of Ford Explorers has returned to Austin’s streets, the city announced Wednesday. Forty-four of the city’s 439 explorers have been repaired by Ford to address carbon monoxide concerns.
The city continues to send Explorers to local Ford dealerships for repairs. The process to return all 439 Explorers back to regular use is expected to take months.
“As the repaired vehicles come back to the department we will work out how to re-deploy them and how best to start returning officers to one-person patrols. It will be some time before we have the entire fleet back,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said.
At the end of July, APD pulled nearly 400 Ford SUVs in order to get the vehicles fixed by Ford. APD experienced the first carbon monoxide issues back in February when two officers reported problems with their vehicle. In March, an APD sergeant experienced a significant issue that they suspected was CO poisoning.
Ford Motor Company is covering the cost of specific repairs in every police interceptor with a leak concern, regardless of age, mileage or after-market modifications made. The company originally said they discovered holes and unsealed spaces in the back of some units. To rectify the problem, the company is doing three things: checking the seal of the rear of the vehicle where exhaust can enter, providing a new air conditioning calibration to bring in more fresh air during heavy acceleration and checking for engine codes that could indicate a damaged exhausted manifold.