Santa Barbara Police Department Installs Carbon Monoxide Sensors in Ford Explorer SUVs
The Santa Barbara Police Department is installing carbon monoxide sensors in its Ford Explorer cruisers after reports of police officers from other departments becoming sick or being involved in crashes as a result of the gas leaking into their cruisers. According to a news report, the city of Santa Barbara uses 14 Ford Explorer SUVs for police patrols. The city has done testing on the current fleet under varying conditions and so far, no carbon monoxide leaks have been found.
However, they are installing the carbon monoxide sensors in all the vehicles “out of an abundance of caution.” The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, which also utilizes 10 of these vehicles, issued a statement saying they are also looking at buying the same carbon monoxide sensors that the city police department is purchasing. The sheriff’s department has also purchased a few of these sensors for their K-9 units. So far, they too haven’t had any issues, officials said.
An Issue Nationwide
Several other police departments nationwide have taken drastic action after several incidents involving carbon monoxide leaks in the Ford Explorer SUVs. The Austin Police Department pulled 400 of its SUVs off the road after at least 20 officers were found with the harmful gas in their blood. In Henderson, Nevada, one of the police officers became unconscious behind the wheel and crashed his cruiser into a ditch.
That officer’s carbon monoxide levels were “near lethal,” according to department officials. So far, there has been no recall, but federal regulators have looked into more than 150 complaints from Ford Explorer owners about exhaust leaking into the passenger cabin of these Explorers, model years 2011 to 2017. It appears that about 1.3 million vehicles could be affected by this defect. Ford has also settled a class action lawsuit related to these complaints.
Our Newport Beach auto defect law firm is representing more than a dozen victims – police officers as well as civilians — who were affected by this dangerous defect including a Newport Beach police officer who was badly injured in a crash after carbon monoxide gas leaked into his vehicle compartment. As attorneys representing the rights of these individuals, it is our hope that government regulators issue a prompt recall of these dangerous and defective vehicles and take them off our roads. Not only do they pose a danger to police officers and civilians traveling in these vehicles, but also others on the roadway.