US:Ford won't sell cars to Arkansas police
Ford won't sell cars to Arkansas police
Dispute over Crown Vic lawsuit puts 249 cars -- 40 for state troopers -- on hold indefinitely
EL DORADO, Ark. -- A dispute with Arkansas' attorney general over claims made about its police interceptors has led Ford Motor Co. to suspend delivery of its Crown Victoria police cars to Arkansas agencies.
The Arkansas attorney general's office is investigating whether the Crown Victoria Police Interceptors are really as loaded as Ford says they are. On hold are 249 cars, including 40 for the state police.
"We believe some of the representations made by Ford regarding the CVPI are false," the attorney general's office said. "We examined approximately 20 systems identified in Ford's marketing materials as CVPI features. Based upon our examination of the 2000 model, some of the features are present, others are not."
Ford says all the advertised features are present, including a heavy-duty frame, heavier springs, shocks and front stabilizer bar, as well as an additional rear stabilizer.
"In contrast to the attorney general's claims, the steel wheel, found on all police interceptor vehicles, is heavy duty," Ford says.
The CVPI is also equipped with an engine oil cooler and a higher idle speed, which promotes greater coolant circulation speed for extended idling periods frequent in police duty vehicles.
"In short, the Arkansas attorney general's findings are without merit," said Tony Gratson, Ford's government sales manager.
Union County Sheriff Ken Jones said five cars were due for delivery Tuesday but that Ford refuses to release them into Arkansas. They were being held in Memphis, Tenn., on Monday.
Ford has asked for a waiver from the attorney general for future sales, which would allow it to sell the cars without the threat of litigation, but the state refused, Gratson said.
"Ford dealers will not deliver vehicles, regardless of order date, because the state's top law enforcement department is incorrectly contending that the vehicle does not possess the attributes as advertised," a Ford statement says.
A side-by-side comparison of different models is scheduled for Wednesday at the state police garage in Little Rock.
Meanwhile, Jones is not happy that his deputies will be doing duty in "worn-out patrol units."
"I'm exploring my avenues, because we had a public bid for these police cars and a local dealership won those bids," he said. Jones said there is not a comparable car on the market.
"I'm concerned that one of my deputies is going to have to respond to a call in a worn-out, high mileage vehicle. I can see the situation going down real fast, if we can't keep our fleet up."
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.....