Crown Victoria Safety Alert
|Every day, thousands of our nation’s law enforcement officers get behind the wheel of their police cars — cars that could explode on impact. The Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) vehicles — an estimated 400,000 on the road today — have a potentially fatal design problem. Already, at least 18 law enforcement officers have been either killed or severely burned in the CVPI’s following highway speed, rear-end collisions.|
OFFICER DEATHS AND INJURIES BRING CASES TO LIGHT
Perry & Haas, L.L.P (Corpus Christi, Texas) and Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. (Phoenix, Arizona) have recently settled four of these cases against Ford. Three of the cases involved law enforcement officers who died or were severely burned in Florida and Arizona CVPI rear-end collision accidents. The fourth case involved a young man in Massachusetts who was severely burned while sitting in the back of a CVPI. To continue in their efforts to force Ford to make these vehicles safer, Perry & Haas, L.L.P. and Longley & Maxwell, L.L.P. (Austin, Texas) have filed a class action suit against Ford for Nueces County, Texas on behalf of all of the cities and counties in Texas.
The CVPI gas tank can be punctured and explode instantaneously following a high speed, rear-end collision. At times, the officers or their passengers have been trapped inside — uninjured, but unable to get out. These Crown Victorias are the same as the cars driven by consumers, except Ford advertises them as being specially built for the unique conditions demanded by the law enforcement profession. In reality, it uses a standard civilian fuel tank.Ford admits there have been more fire deaths in the Ford Crown Victoria than in the Ford Pinto before it was recalled. For more information click here.
ISN’T IT TIME FORD STOPPED MAKING EXCUSES?
Ford has held fast to its position that it will not reposition the fuel tank, which auto safety experts have criticized — since 1968, for being placed behind the rear axle — making it prone to explode in rear-end collisions. Ford’s response to the deaths caused by these exploding fuel tanks was to publish a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) that merely suggested unproven ways to modify the cars. Even though the TSB modifications are not adequate, they are helpful and should be done as soon as possible.
State officials and national organizations are calling for more action and fewer excuses. Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano has stated in letters to Ford:
- Ford never crash-tested the police cruisers at speeds higher than 50 mph.
- After the company suggested a fix to one problem, they never crash-tested a car with the fix.
- Ford misrepresented a crash test and statistics in a presentation to the Arizona Department of Public Safety last year.
The Center for Auto Safety in Washington, D.C., called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- to make Ford more accountable for safety problems in their vehicle designs: From the Pinto and Mustang to the Crown Victoria, Ford has used lawyers and lobbyists to engineer loopholes into safety regulations rather than using engineers to build crash-fire safety into motor vehicles.
- to order a recall if Ford refuses to voluntarily recall both the police and civilian versions of the Crown Victoria sedan.