UPDATE 07/28/2107, 19:17
Washington State Patrol Captain Shane Nelson – commander of the agency’s Property Management Division – took time to explain what we are doing to keep troopers safe on the road.
Exposure to carbon monoxide is a serious issue and were fitting every vehicle in our fleet with CO detectors.
The WSP fleet is comprised of 634 Police Interceptors and 11 Ford Explorers for a total of 645 FORD SUV’s.
All of the CO issues have been with the Interceptors. We haven’t had any issues with the 11 Ford Explorers. All reports have come from the Police Interceptors. Ford released a statement regarding the carbon monoxide issue. You can read it here: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2017/07/28/police-utility-statement.html
Earlier today, Captain Nelson also spoke live on Twitter and Facebook to answer some questions, that broadcast is available here:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced it is expanding its investigation into 1.33 million Ford Explorer SUVs over reports of exhaust odors in the vehicle and possible exposure to carbon monoxide.
We understand a lot of people have questions regarding its effect on the agency.
Since January, 6 Washington State Patrol troopers have reported medical symptoms similar to carbon monoxide exposure. Those symptoms include dizziness, sickness, and shortness of breath. Out of these 6 cases, 2 troopers were hospitalized. We’re thankful no collisions have resulted from these reports. While we don’t have the current medical conditions of the employees, we are taking this issue very seriously. Safety for our troopers is paramount.
Reports of possible CO exposure from the cars came from all over the state beginning in January with the latest incident being July 18th.
After the agency received the second report of possible CO exposure, an internal memo went out statewide alerting troopers of the issue. In the memo, troopers were informed that the Ford Motor Company had identified a potential concern with 2011-2015 Ford Explorers (Interceptors) exhaust leaks.
While there were no recalls, the Washington State Patrol recommended to all troopers who noticed unusual odors or excessive exhaust noise to take their SUV to a Ford dealership to have their vehicle inspected and tested as a safety precaution.
Additionally, the agency has been installing carbon monoxide protectors in all Ford Interceptions and Explorers as a precautionary measure. We will also be retrofitting all Ford Interceptors with CO detectors on an as needed basis.
Our troopers need to have safe working vehicles to effectively do their job. And we as an agency will be taking extra care.
Want More Info?
At 4:35 p.m. today, July 28, 2017, we will be holding a press conference to further discuss the Washington State Patrol’s next steps. The event will also be live-streamed on Twitter and Facebook.