Austin idles 400 po­lice SUVs over fumes

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Po­lice Depart­ment on Fri­day pulled nearly 400 Ford Ex­plorer SUVs from its pa­trol fleet over wor­ries about ex­haust fumes in­side the ve­hi­cles.

The move comes as U.S. auto safety reg­u­la­tors in­ves­ti­gate com­plaints of ex­haust fume prob­lems in more than 1.3 mil­lion Ex­plor­ers from the 2011 through 2017 model years. In Austin, more than 60 of­fi­cers have re­ported health prob­lems since Fe­bru­ary and more than 20 were found to have mea­sur­able car­bon monox­ide in their sys­tems, city of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

Among the com­plaints were three crashes and 41 in­juries, mostly loss of con­scious­ness, nausea and headaches. Many of the com­plaints came from po­lice de­part­ments, which use the Po­lice In­ter­cep­tor ver­sion of the Ex­plorer in pa­trol fleets.

The city in­stalled car­bon monox­ide alarms af­ter of­fi­cers be­gan re­port­ing get­ting sick while in the ve­hi­cles, and parked 60 of them when the alarms ac­ti­vated.

The de­ci­sion left Austin scram­bling to find re­place­ment ve­hi­cles for more than half of its pa­trol fleet.

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