There is new information on a potentially dangerous problem with Ford Explorers.
A CBS News investigation uncovered concerns of carbon monoxide seeping into the vehicles, and on Wednesday, it was learned that Ford is now offering free repairs.
Concerns really started to spread over the summer, and that’s when the West Haven Police Department added carbon monoxide detectors to their patrol SUVs.
Then earlier this fall, they had work done by the dealership.
Now everyone who owns a Ford Explorer is getting a notice for repair work.
"Some resealing of the rear door, a readjustment, reconfiguration, which allows fresh air into the vehicle as its moving and that the tailpipes, were changed to a downward angle, compared to a straight pipe and so far, it has alleviated the issues,” said West Haven police Sgt. David Tammaro.
After first focusing on repairing police Explorers, at the time it said there was no reason for customers to be concerned.
Now comes word that Ford is sending out letters this week to all owners for a voluntary repair program.
Work will include reprogramming the air conditioner, replacing drain valves, and checking seals around the back of the vehicle.
The latest move is to respond to the growing concern about exhaust getting into the cabins of 2011 to 2017 Ford Explorer, affecting about 1.3 million models of the popular SUV.
"A lot of times they're in this car, 8 hours, sometimes 16 hours, in and out and it is their office. They're writing reports in there, getting information in there, they're eating in there, they're doing their jobs in there, they're in there a lot,” Tammaro said.
Ford says it will pay for the work regardless of mileage, age, or whether they're under warranty. It will also reimburse owners who previously paid for work.
While Ford is offering the free repair work, it's stressing its Explorers are safe, the CO levels are no higher than what people are typically exposed to and that a recall is not needed.
As for the West Haven Police Department and their 16 cruisers, so far, they're pleased with Ford's response and the steps it is taking.
"No issues with the service, they've been correcting them. It’s an important issue and the dealers are taking it seriously, so we're happy with it,” Tammaro said.
Channel 3 reached out to a few local Ford dealerships on Wednesday to talk about the program but they did not return requests for comment.
Anyone who did get a letter, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said to call your dealer.
The free repairs will be available through Dec. 31, 2018.
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