Ford recall suspends 1/3 of Texas ambulance fleet

The agency is moving quickly to replace 20 defective sensors that can prevent the engine from starting

Austin American-Statesman

AUSTIN, Texas — Of the 3,100 ambulance chassis that Ford Motor Company issued a recall for this month, 20 are operating in the Austin-Travis County EMS fleet, according to the agency.

The recall resulted from a defective “exhaust temperature sensor” that can unexpectedly prevent the engine from starting or reduce its performance, according to a news release that EMS issued Monday.

“ATCEMS officials and the City of Austin fleet managers are working quickly to have corrective measures taken to replace the defective sensors,” the release says.

Since July 2011, the agency’s fleet manager has reported that seven ambulances experienced engine failures resulting from faulty sensors, the release says. Four of those failures happened while medics were taking a patient to the hospital, but the problems did not affect “patient outcome,” the release says.

The city has already replaced or repaired sensors on seven ambulances.

EMS spokesman Warren Hassinger said that the agency is replacing all sensors on the 20 affected ambulances rather than testing to deterimine which sensors are defective and which are not.

In all, EMS has 66 ambulances in its fleet, he said.

In a statement, EMS Chief Ernie Rodriguez said that the agency’s “relationship and feedback” to Ford was a catalyst for the recall.

Copyright 2013 Austin American-Statesman
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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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