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Old 08-06-2003, 06:26   #1 (permalink)
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U.S.A.:Crown Victoria to get new help

Ford may offer fire suppression to police
August 6, 2003

BY JOCELYN PARKER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Ford Motor Co. is expected to announce Thursday that it will offer fire suppression technology on its Crown Victoria police cars in an attempt to prevent deadly fuel-tank fires after high-speed, rear collisions.

Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley declined to provide details about the planned announcement, but the company said Ford engineers have recently tested fire suppression technologies, which use a liquid-based foam to prevent fires after rear collisions.

Ford recently told the Free Press it selected Aerojet -- an aerospace and defense company based in Sacramento, Calif. -- as its vendor and it has worked with the company to develop the technology for police use. According to Ford, the system would use technology similar to an air-bag deployment system to release fire suppression chemicals.

The technologies are the latest safeguard Ford will offer for Crown Victoria police cars. Roughly a year ago, Ford said it would put plastic fuel-tank shields on 350,000 Crown Victoria Police Interceptors on the road. The shields are designed to go around the gas tank and ensure that suspension and other components do not rupture the tank.

Ford is also offering Trunk Packs -- intended to hold sharp items -- to police departments as a way to protect the fuel tank from puncture. The City of Dallas said last month that the Trunk Packs may increase the amount of fuel leakage during some accidents -- a claim Ford denies.

The Crown Victoria has been the subject of lawsuits and a federal investigation due to fuel-tank fires following high-speed, rear collisions. About 85 percent of all police departments and state troopers use the vehicles.

Fuel-tank fires after rear collisions have killed at least 18 officers over the past several years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed an investigation on the Crown Victoria last year after it found the vehicles met current standards for fuel-system integrity.

Clarence Ditlow, Center for Auto Safety executive director, said fire suppression is probably one of the better alternatives.

"It has great promise," he said.
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Old 08-06-2003, 19:42   #2 (permalink)
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Re: U.S.A.:Crown Victoria to get new help

how about they import a decent car in the Falcon. At least their fuel tank is located in front of the rear axle!
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Old 08-07-2003, 05:35   #3 (permalink)
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Re: U.S.A.:Crown Victoria to get new help

I think the Fairlane would be the choice here, but getting past the UAW is futile.
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Old 08-07-2003, 06:27   #4 (permalink)
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Re: U.S.A.:Crown Victoria to get new help

yeah unfortunately.............cmon free trade agreement!
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Old 08-08-2003, 00:55   #5 (permalink)
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Cops: Ford fix not enough

Automaker's offer of fire suppression equipment not likely to stem police cruiser controversy

By Jeff Plungis / Detroit News Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Ford Motor Co.'s latest attempt to offer a fix for the Crown Victoria police cruiser drew mixed reviews from police groups, indicating controversy over the vehicle's safety is likely to continue.

At a New York City news conference Thursday, Ford said it would begin offering an optional fire-suppression system with 2005 models of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.

"This is a good start by Ford to recognize there is a problem," said Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "Now they need to solve the problem. They ought to be socially responsible and fix the thousands of cars on the road today."

On Monday, the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police passed a resolution calling for all law enforcement agencies to halt Crown Vic purchases until Ford offers a new fix.

Police groups and attorneys general around the country have been concerned about the Crown Vic over a rash of fire deaths following rear-end collisions. At least 13 officers have died since 1992.

Critics say the placement of the Crown Vic's fuel tank, behind the rear axle, leaves it especially vulnerable to rupture in a high-speed collision. Last year, Ford offered to place plastic shields around the fuel tank at locations it was most likely to rupture.

The bipartisan National Association of Attorneys General formed a task force to study Crown Vic safety in June. In May, the city of Dallas issued a moratorium on future Crown Victoria purchases until Ford offers a fix.

Dallas city attorney Madeleine Johnson said Ford should make the fire-suppression system standard equipment.

Ford has not found a fire-suppression technology reliable enough to offer as a fix for existing cars. The company continues to stand by the safety of the Crown Vic.

"Until we, as a society, eliminate high-speed accidents, we will never eliminate fire," said Sue Cischke, Ford vice president of environmental and safety engineering. "The potential of a fuel leak, while rare, is part of the risk of every high-speed accident."

(Photo)Elements of a fire suppression system sit within a Ford Crown Vic frame. Police groups have been concerned over fire deaths following rear-end collisions.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg c03ford.jpeg (38.9 KB, 5 views)
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Old 08-09-2003, 23:25   #6 (permalink)
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Re: U.S.A.:Crown Victoria to get new help

And the propaganda release...

FORD INTRODUCES INDUSTRY-FIRST POLICE VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY

Ford Motor Company and New York State Senator Nicholas Spano today announced an important step to protect police officers. During the 2005 model year, Ford plans to offer a fire suppression system as a factory option on Crown Victoria Police Interceptors. This is an automotive industry first.

The announcement today is part of a holistic approach by Ford and the law enforcement community to reduce the risk of fire-related injuries to police officers from high-speed, high-energy rear crashes.

In recent months, Ford and representative members of the law enforcement community formed a Blue Ribbon Panel and Technical Task Force to reduce the risks faced by police officers in highway stops. Law enforcement personnel, independent experts, component suppliers and Ford personnel worked in a number of areas, including improving communications with a dedicated website – www.cvpi.com. The initial results, including the Upgrade Kit designed to shield the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor's fuel tank from vehicle components, were announced and published on the website for broad and quick dissemination. Ford also has developed a Trunk Pack™ to allow police officers to locate police equipment more safely. In addition, Ford engineers have worked with members of the law enforcement community to evaluate alternative traffic stop procedures in a manner that reduces the officer's exposure to danger. Ford also is encouraging state legislators to pass "move-over" laws in their states to protect officers in their line of duty.

"Today's announcement is further evidence of Ford's commitment to police officer safety," said Sue Cischke, Ford Motor Company vice president, Environmental and Safety Engineering. "We have already advanced the safety of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor well beyond governmental regulations or industry practice. However, until we, as a society, eliminate high-speed accidents, we will never eliminate the risk of fire. The potential of a fuel leak, while rare, is part of the risk of every high-speed accident. Therefore, we believe the actions we are taking to introduce fire suppression technology will help save lives."

Ford is developing a fire suppression system with Aerojet, a supplier for the United States military with the technology initially developed and tested for use in the interior of U.S. military armored personnel vehicles. The system uses advanced electronics and on-board sensors to measure post-impact vehicle movement to determine the optimal time for deployment of the fire suppression material. The system will be integrated into the CVPI's structure and electrical architecture.

Ford and Aerojet conducted joint testing of many different fire suppression formulas and dispersal methods. Ford and Aerojet will continue to validate the effectiveness and reliability of fire suppression in an automotive application.

"This is a monumental day for law enforcement across the country," Senator Spano said. "Ford deserves credit for their commitment to creating this technology. It represents a major first step in reducing fuel tank fires that have unfortunately taken the lives of officers across the country."

Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is joining with the International Association of Chiefs of Police to look at broader issues of police officer safety. Four members of the original "Blue Ribbon Panel" will participate in the IACP/NHTSA Joint Panel. They will focus on three areas initially: police procedures, police equipment and enhancing the safety of vehicles traveling on the nation's highways. Information from the Joint Panel will be available on the www.cvpi.com website.

"We believe it is a privilege to support the men and women of law enforcement and we remain committed to them in the important work they do," Cischke said. "By focusing on crash avoidance, vehicle crash worthiness and post-crash fire suppression, we have advanced the state of the art in the industry. These actions will improve officer safety."
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