Cleveland Files Lawsuit, Claims Ford Police Cars Are Unsafe
Posted 08/30/02 9:20 a.m. CDT
By M.R. Kropko
CLEVELAND — The city filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court Wednesday on behalf of law enforcement agencies across Ohio that accuses Ford of selling unsafe police cars.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas concerning the potential for fuel tank fires in Ford-made Crown Victoria police cars, a city official said.
Ford spokeswoman Sara Tatchio said the lawsuit was not a surprise to the company because the issue is not new.
“This is a very serious situation for us, and we’re treating it with urgency,” she said.
Ford has been trying to determine how to prevent gas tank fires and explosions following rear-end collisions in its police car version of the Crown Victoria. In June, Ford agreed to set up two study panels to study the situation.
Ford has opened two study panels to determine how to prevent gas tank fires and explosions in the Crown Victoria police interceptor.
The automaker is considering making foam-filled bladders surrounding the gas tank to block fuel from leaking in a collision.
The city of Cleveland’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, lists seven separate fuel tank fires during 2000 and 2001, all of which led to injuries or deaths. None of the examples involved an Ohio police car.
R. Eric Kennedy, the attorney for the city, said “this lawsuit is trying to prevent deaths from happening.”
The lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount sought for damages but alleges that compensatory and punitive damages are appropriate, as are restitution and attorney fees.
Cleveland has 481 police cars that are Ford Crown Victorias, along with Mayor Jane Campbell’s city car.
Copyright 2002 by Associated Press;
Photos courtesy of the manufacturer
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....