(WFLA/NBC NEWS) — Federal regulators are looking into claims that some police vehicles are making officers sick after getting dozens of complaints about possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
One Austin, Texas sergeant is claiming it almost cost him his life. Sgt. Zachary Lahood was driving a modified version of a Ford Explorer, which is popular with law enforcement and makes up 61 percent of APD’s fleet.
He’s now on medical leave and suing Ford claiming he was left with long-term neurological problems after being poisoned by carbon monoxide.
“I never thought it would be my car that takes me down,” says Sgt. Lahood.
But, this could be an even bigger problem for Ford and police officers around the country as Lahood isn’t the first to complain about this problem.
“We have officers still that as of last week getting nauseous going to the hospital and having to have their blood tested,” says Ken Casaday with the Austin Police Association.
In a separate case in California, dashcam video from 2015 shows a police officer who passed out behind the wheel crashing into a tree.
Ford released a statement saying, “We have investigated and not found any carbon monoxide issue resulting from the design of our police Interceptor Utility Vehicles.
We know police modify these vehicles, which can contribute to exhaust-related issues.”
Federal regulators are now looking into whether the issues in Austin are related to a potential safety defect.
Austin PD has pulled more than 60 of its SUVs.
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