AUSTIN - An Austin police sergeant is suing Ford for at least a million dollars.
The lawsuit alleges Sgt. Zachary Lahood was poisoned by carbon monoxide gas inside his Ford Explorer police unit in March.
Lahood passed out while driving and almost hit an oncoming bus.
After that accident, Zachary Lahood pulled over and officers who came to the scene found a strong smell of exhaust.
The lawsuit said he suffered severe neurological injuries from the carbon monoxide poisoning.
In total, Lahood is suing Ford Motor Company, Leif Johnson Ford in Austin and five unnamed companies.
The lawsuit alleges Ford knew about the problem -- but failed to let the public know and didn't issue a recall. The lawsuit also said Leif Johnson Ford serviced the vehicle to fix the defects but failed to do so.
The lawsuit also states the Ford company knew defects in 2011 through 2015 Ford Explorers caused potentially life-threatening consequences.
In a statement, Ford Motor Company said:
"We take the safety of our customers very seriously. In rare circumstances, there have been instances where customers detected an exhaust odor in Explorers and Police Interceptor Utilities. We have thoroughly investigated reports of exhaust odor and do not believe this odor condition poses a safety risk. If customers have a concern with their vehicles, they are encouraged to contact their local Ford dealership. In the case of Police Interceptors, odors can be caused by non-Ford modifications or repairs that were not properly sealed."
Leif Johnson Ford in Austin had no comment Wednesday afternoon.
Lahood is represented by Reeves and Brightwell here in Austin and Bisnar and Chase out of California.
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