Ford Explorer Interceptor Saga: Questioning the Aftermarket Aftermath

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Aftermarket equipment installed after police took possession of Ford vehicles was reportedly to blame. So, who should pay to fix the issue? 

Ford Motor Company was linked to a nationwide controversy surrounding the Blue Oval’s best-selling SUV. The vehicle in question is the Ford Explorer Interceptor, issued to law enforcement agencies ranging from small-town police departments to Homeland Security.

Earlier this year several accident reports surrounding these SUVs made it to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As a massive probe began, Ford kicked off its own internal investigation when lawsuits from individual police officers began popping up across the country. They all shared one thing in common: Carbon monoxide poisoning.


Ford concluded from the investigation that aftermarket equipment, such as harnesses, light bars, racks, and other police equipment installed after the agencies took possession, was to blame. Regardless, Ford pledged to inspect the vehicles and make the necessary repairs at no cost. Due to the size of the project, this would clearly take some time.


Ford concluded from the investigation that aftermarket equipment and other police equipment installed after the agencies took possession was to blame.


Meanwhile, local police departments had to install carbon monoxide detectors inside their Explorers, or put them out of service until they were inspected. As Fox San Antonio reported, the cost of these devices ignited a debate. The San Antonio Police department has spent nearly $6,500 in carbon monoxide detection equipment, plus an estimated $1,000 per month for temporary detector rentals.


Even though Ford showed it was not to blame,, many wonder who should pay for these additional costs?

“We will not seek reimbursement from Ford for the expense since we have so few of these Ford Explorers in use,” San Antonio Police Department spokeswoman Sandra Pickell said. “Our concern was purely the safety of our deputies.”

Ford says the root of the problem is not related to manufacturing, so common sense dictates that the Blue Oval should not be held financially liable. So then, should the cost be shouldered by the third-party installers who made the aftermarket modifications?

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Jerry Perez is a regular contributor to Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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