Ford Explorers removed from Upstate fleet

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OCONEE Co., S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate law enforcement agency has removed Ford Explorers from its fleet amid concern over carbon monoxide leaks.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office says the five vehicles will be reviewed by the county’s vehicle maintenance facility to determine whether the SUVs are safe. It could be weeks before a decision is made to put the vehicles back in service.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Board is investigating more than one million Ford Explorers made between 2011 and 2017.

Police departments in Texas and Massachusetts reported cases of officers passing out or getting lightheaded behind the wheel because of the toxic gas.

More than 2,700 similar complaints have been made. That’s why Oconee County decided to err on the side of caution.

“It’s part of us just being proactive not only wanting to protect our citizens, of course, our officers, but also our citizens as well,” said Deputy Jimmy Watt with Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

Other Upstate law enforcement agencies, including Travelers Rest and Greenville police departments as well as Anderson, Cherokee and Spartanburg counties are choosing to use the Ford Explorers, but officials say they’re monitoring the situation.

Greenville Police Department plans to install carbon monoxide detectors in the vehicles.

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