Ford weighing recall of Explorer police cruisers

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WCAX) Renewed concerns over carbon monoxide seeping into Ford Explorer police cruisers. A CBS investigation has learned Ford may be on the verge of a major recall that could affect agencies across the country, including the Vermont State Police.

The issue first emerged after a frightening 2015 crash in California. The police officer driving passed out from what he believes was carbon monoxide and is now suing Ford. CBS found mechanics in Montgomery County, Maryland, discovered cracks in the SUVs' manifolds, a problem that could affect up to 80 percent of that fleet. The cracks could release CO into the engine bay and through the vents of the SUV's cabin.

"If you're running your air conditioning or your vent system, that's the air that's coming through the engine compartment, so you're sucking carbon monoxide into the cabin if you have that kind of a leak," said David Dise, director of Montgomery County's Dept. of General Services.

The cracks are common enough to prompt Ford to actively consider a potentially costly recall. There are an estimated 135,000 Explorer police cruisers on the road in more than a dozen states. Vermont State Police officials say their fleet now has CO monitors in each cruiser.