Austin Police to take delivery on repaired SUVs after exhaust fume complaints

In this Tuesday, July 11, 2017 photo, Austin police Ford utility vehicles are parked on East Eighth Street outside police headquarters in Austin, Texas. The Austin Police Department on Friday, July 28, 2017 pulled nearly 400 Ford Explorer SUVs from its patrol fleet over worries about exhaust fumes inside the vehicles. The move comes as U.S. auto safety regulators investigate complaints of exhaust fume problems in more than 1.3 million Explorers from the 2011 through 2017 model years.(Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Austin Police take a big step toward getting their fleet of Ford Explorers back on the road. Monday APD is expecting delivery of the first batch of cars repaired by the dealership.

The Austin Police Department owns 400 Police Interceptors which are specialized versions of the Ford Explorer. Austin took them all off the streets earlier in the summer because of high carbon monoxide levels found in some of the vehicles.

Ford insisted the problem came from after-market add-ons like wiring for police electronics. But the fleet dealer in Silsbee near Beaumont is handling the repairs. And we're told it's mostly fixing or repairing gaskets and other seals to keep exhaust fumes out of the passenger compartment.

The first batch of repaired cars is expected to be delivered Monday, but the city plans to do its own tests before putting officers back behind the wheel. Police Chief Brian Manley says, “We will spend about a week with our city's fleet department running these vehicles through our own set of tests, using our own instrumentation and wanting to validate the results that Ford has given us."

Chief Manley says just ten of the city's Ford Explorers will be back Monday. That means since they have 400 that they want fixed, it will take months to have them all back on the road.

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