44 Austin police Ford Explorers back on the beat after carbon monoxide issues

Nov 29, 2017

The first batch of Ford Explorers that Austin police pulled from service after carbon monoxide leaks sickened officers are back on the streets.

Austin Police Department Photo: AMERICAN-STATESMAN file photo/Jessalyn Tamez

City officials announced on Wednesday that 44 of the 439 pulled vehicles have returned to service.

“In September, the city’s Fleet Services department took delivery of the first batch of repaired vehicles back from Ford and further testing was carried out, both by Fleet Department staff and APD officers,” a statement from the city said. 

“The City continues to send vehicles to Ford for repairs,” the statement said. “The process of transitioning the remaining vehicles to normal service is expected to take a number of months.”

Authorities said Ford identified problems with the vehicles and advised local dealerships on how to repair them.

While the vehicles have been out of service, patrol officers have been riding in pairs.

Moving forward, city leaders said they will look for opportunities for a more diverse fleet of vehicles.

Nearly 20 more vehicles are in the testing cycle and are slated to return soon. All remaining vehicles will undergo at least 20 hours of police testing before rolling back out.