October 18, 2004
Jury finds Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is safe
Dearborn, Michigan – An Illinois jury returned a verdict that the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is a safe, reliable police car, following findings by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the car exceeds federal standards for fuel system safety.
Ford’s Police Interceptors has been involved in a number of high-profile crashes where they were rear-ended at high speeds at the side of the highway, in some cases killing police officers.
“No design can eliminate all risk in 70 mph or 80 mph collisions into parked police vehicles,” said Ford attorney Doug Lampe. “The plaintiffs’ attorneys were asking for a vehicle that’s never been designed by a car company anywhere in the world – a car that is guaranteed to eliminate all risk of fuel leakage in such high-speed collisions. Instead, the jury used its common sense and found that the Police Interceptor has a proven record of safe, dependable service in high-risk police work.
There have been no accidents or injuries in the state of Illinois. This case was a class-action trial based on the value of after-market equipment sought by plaintiffs and did not have anything to do with personal injury.
“The same plaintiffs’ lawyers who brought this lawsuit also petitioned NHTSA to open an investigation into the Police Interceptor,” Lampe pointed out. “NHTSA closed its investigation without ordering a recall. Having failed to convince the proper regulatory authorities, the plaintiffs’ lawyers sought to have a court-sponsored vehicle designed by the lawyers, with the lawyers earning a percentage fee. But they failed in that effort, as well.
“If this issue comes to trial in other states, we believe there will be similar verdicts because the Police Interceptor remains the vehicle of choice by the people who drive them: law enforcement officers,” Lampe said.