AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Austin police chief said Friday that a Ford Explorer SUV that the automaker repaired for a return to service with his department actually doesn't appear to have had exhaust containing carbon monoxide seeping into it — despite his saying earlier that it did.
Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said previously that during a test of three SUVs repaired by Ford Motor Company, one tested positive for carbon monoxide. But Manley told The Austin American-Statesman hours later that additional testing revealed alarms may have activated for some other reason, meaning his original assertions were a likely false alarm.
"We do not believe this issue is a Ford issue or related to the repairs they have done," Manley told The Statesman. That is consistent with Ford, which responded to Manley's earlier comments by defending its repairs and saying it has yet to receive all the details about the reported new problem.
Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said Friday in an earlier emailed statement that, "Ford was not provided with information on the levels of CO detected but we are ready to inspect any vehicle."
She also said the automaker has "been happy to collaborate with" Austin police on repairs and added: "The methods and parts we've utilized to repair Austin's vehicles have worked well to address the concern."
Austin police pulled nearly 400 Explorers off patrol in July because of carbon monoxide concerns. Police departments across the country use Explorers and several also took them out of service.
Ford has previously blamed the issue on non-factory outfitters that drill holes into police SUVs to install extra equipment like lights and radios.