Officer Brandy Sickey of Henderson, La., said she blacked out when she crashed her Ford Explorer Police Interceptor in April, as CBS News reports. Medical records state she suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. There have been other reports from police departments of carbon monoxide seeping into their cruisers, and other crashes as well. Now Ford thinks it may have determined the cause: unsealed holes drilled in the body of the vehicle for wiring of emergency lights and radios.

Ford is investigating the issue but isn't claiming responsibility, saying the modifications took place by other parties after the cars had been sold. The automaker acknowledges the holes as the source of the problem, though, and is paying to repair affected vehicles "regardless of age, mileage or aftermarket modifications made after purchase." The fix involves checking and sealing the rear of the vehicle, and updating air conditioning software to bring in more fresh air. Ford also says there have been reports of cracked engine manifolds, which it is checking for in police Explorers, but the company says this issue is unrelated to the carbon monoxide entering the cabin.

In the meantime, police departments are taking some vehicles off the road as they await repairs. Officer Sickey is suing Ford. And the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 1.33 million civilian Ford Explorer SUVs over reports of exhaust odors that may be linked to crashes and injuries.

"I could've killed somebody," Sickey told CBS News. "I could've died. I could've got killed. I could've had somebody in my back seat transporting them to the jail, could've killed them. Because when it hit me, I didn't even know I was in a crash.

""We already have a dangerous job, to be worried about if our carbon monoxide detector is going to go off," Sickey said. "So I think Ford needs to take care of the problem and fix it."

Related Video:


Help us improve our comments.
Share This Photo X