San Diego law enforcement agencies check SUVs for carbon monoxide levels amid poisoning incidents

Lawsuits in Texas spark inspections
San Diego law enforcement agencies check SUVs for carbon monoxide levels amid poisoning incidents
Posted at 6:16 AM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 15:22:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego County law agencies are assuring the public they are taking steps to ensure the safety of their SUVs after a handful of incidents across the country involving Ford Police Interceptors.

In Texas, the Austin Police Department pulled 37 of its Interceptors off the road after failed carbon monoxide (CO) tests. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled in large amounts.

In San Diego, there are several hundred of the Ford Police Interceptor SUVs on the road, across more than a dozen police and law enforcement departments.

"We have investigated and not found any carbon monoxide issue resulting from the design of our Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles,” Ford Motor Co. said in a release.  

“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."

The San Diego Police Officers Association says they haven't had any complaints from its members about carbon monoxide.

The San Diego Police Department says it has tested 295 Interceptors and they all passed. A spokesman for the department said they have been proactive since the issue first surfaced a few months ago. They put monitors in their cars and also make sure any modifications maintain factory seals and are done by Ford Qualified installers.

Chula Vista police paid a local Ford dealership to inspect about a dozen of their SUVs. The inspection found no issues with carbon monoxide.

Escondido police put CO Testers in all 85 of their vehicles. None showed unsafe levels of CO.

Harbor Police had the same results in 15 of their SUVs.

Carlsbad police told 10News they put permanent CO monitors in their cars and they keep replacement parts on hand to use if needed.

Coronado police have seven Interceptors, and while they didn't provide specifics on tests, they told 10News they haven't had any issues.

La Mesa police also said they haven't had any issues, but they didn't provide specifics on how many of their SUVs they tested or how.

Border Patrol has 74 Ford SUVs in service in San Diego. They told 10News there are no known complaints about carbon monoxide in the cabs and they are monitoring the situation.

The California Highway Patrol confirmed they also use the Ford Police Interceptors, but a spokesperson did not provide any other information about carbon monoxide.

10News also reached out to the San Diego Sheriff's Department, National City police, El Cajon police and Oceanside police. Those departments did not respond as of Monday evening.