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Ford to fix carbon monoxide issues in police SUVs

Ford said it will cover the cost of repairs for carbon monoxide odors "regardless of age, mileage or aftermarket modifications made after purchase"


By Joseph S. Pete
The Times

Ford pledged to fix an issue that's been caused by after-market modifications to the Calumet Region-made Police Interceptor Utility.

Police departments have reported smelling carbon monoxide inside the top-selling police vehicle, which is manufactured at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewish. Ford said the issue doesn't affect Explorer SUVs that haven't been souped up for police use and that the odors were caused by the installation of police equipment after the vehicles left the South Side factory on the Calumet River.

"When a police or fire department routinely install customized emergency lighting, radios and other equipment, they have to drill wiring access holes into the rear of the vehicle," Ford said in a statement. "If the holes are not properly sealed, it creates an opening where exhaust could enter the cabin."

Ford said it will cover the cost of repairs for carbon monoxide odors "regardless of age, mileage or aftermarket modifications made after purchase." The automaker said any police departments with issues should take the vehicle into a Ford dealership and technicians will seal off the rear of the vehicle, calibrate the air conditioning to bring in more fresh air during acceleration and check engine code for signs of a damaged exhaust manifold.

"There is nothing we take more seriously than providing you with the safest and most reliable vehicles,” Ford Executive Vice President Product Development and Purchasing Hau Thai-Tang said.

Ford, one of the largest automakers in the Calumet Region, reported last week that it turned a profit of $2 billion in the second quarter, up nearly 4 percent year over year, though higher steel prices ate into its margins. It made a pre-tax profit of $2.2 billion in North America, and the automaker expects its North American profit to be down as compared to last because of the higher commodity costs and engineering expenses related to the development of autonomous vehicles.

“This quarter shows the underlying health of our company with strong products like F-Series and commercial vehicles around the world, but we have opportunity to deliver even more," President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said.

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©2017 The Times (Munster, Ind.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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