Washington State Troopers sue Ford over carbon monoxide

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Six Washington State Patrol troopers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company saying their patrol vehicles gave them carbon monoxide poisoning.

KOIN reports the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court, states the troopers suffered physical harm. A separate lawsuit was filed Thursday by five troopers against the State Patrol.

The lawsuit says Explorer model years 2011 - 2018 have an exhaust fume defect with the climate control system which allows exhaust fumes to get in the passenger compartment.

In July 2017, State Patrol said two of the six troopers were hospitalized from the carbon monoxide exposure. Their symptoms included  dizziness, sickness, and shortness of breath.

After the troopers got sick, State Patrol outfitted all 634 Ford Explorers in their fleet with detectors, costing $58 each.

Ford's fix, according to the lawsuit, was to replace the exhaust system, "which was merely a bandaid fix as the exhaust system would warp and fail again."

In a statement, Ford said safety is a top priority and blamed after-market equipment installed on the police vehicles for creating unsealed holes.

Here's the statement Ford offered Q13 News in 2017:

“Ford’s investigation into this issue is ongoing. However, the company has discovered holes and unsealed spaces in the back of some Police Interceptor Utilities that had police equipment installed after leaving Ford’s factory. When a police or fire department routinely install customized emergency lighting, radios and other equipment, they have to drill wiring access holes into the rear of the vehicle. If the holes are not properly sealed, it creates an opening where exhaust could enter the cabin.”