Officer Brandy Sickey of Henderson, La., said she blacked out when she crashed herFord Explorer
Police Interceptor in April, asCBS News
reports. Medical records state she suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning. There have beenother reports from police departments
of carbon monoxide seeping into their cruisers, and other crashes as well. NowFord
thinks it may havedetermined the cause
: unsealed holes drilled in the body of the vehicle for wiring of emergency lights and radios.
Ford is investigating the issue but isn't claiming responsibility, saying the modifications took place by other parties after the cars had been sold. The automaker acknowledges the holes as the source of the problem, though, andis paying to repair affected vehicles
"regardless of age, mileage oraftermarket
modifications made after purchase." The fix involves checking and sealing the rear of the vehicle, and updating air conditioning software to bring in more fresh air. Ford also says there have been reports of cracked engine manifolds, which it is checking for in policeExplorers
, but the company says this issue is unrelated to the carbon monoxide entering the cabin.
In the meantime, police departments are taking some vehicles off the road as they awaitrepairs
. Officer Sickey is suing Ford. And the U.S.National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
is investigating 1.33 million civilian Ford Explorer SUVs over reports of exhaust odors that may be linked to crashes and injuries.
"I could've killed somebody," Sickey told CBS News. "I could've died. I could've got killed. I could've had somebody in my back seat transporting them to the jail, could've killed them. Because when it hit me, I didn't even know I was in a crash.
""We already have a dangerous job, to be worried about if our carbon monoxide detector is going to go off," Sickey said. "So I think Ford needs to take care of the problem and fix it."Related Video: