Hard Attack News With Views

A place to read the 'Hard View' on certain stories that are linked up on Hard Attack News, and for readers of Hard Attack News to 'Sound Off', whether to the 'Hard View' or Post Their Own Take or View. Finally a place where viewers of Hard Attack News can post, exchange, Debate, & Discuss their Views on the News!

Location: New York, New York

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Many Police Departments Dropping Out of Lawsuit So They Can Continue to Buy Crown Vics

Tampa Bay Online-AP: Many Police Departments Dropping Out of Lawsuit So They Can Continue to Buy Crown Vics

Excerpt - CHICAGO (AP) - Dozens of police departments in Illinois who joined a lawsuit alleging that a popular police cruiser is unsafe have dropped out because they said Ford Motor Co. threatened to stop selling them the cars.

Click Here for Full Report

Hard Comment: I am somewhat aware of the fire hazard that these Crown Victoria's have, from watching a report not to long ago on ABC 20/20 or something like that. But I do believe most of these hits from the rear that caused these fires were impacts of another vehicle driving at high speeds hitting these patrol cars parked on the side of the road.

The doors of these Crown Vic's got stuck from the impact of the hit, and with a fire breaking out with the ruptured gas tanks, some of these poor bastards burned alive in their cars because they couldn't get out.

I have the sister of the Crown Vic, a Grand Marquis, and last year I locked myself out with the keys inside. After failing to break in with the old methods of using the tools of the trade to break in with no luck, (later I found out that Ford had installed measures to prevent these old tools of the trade from working), it began to rain, so I was like the hell with this, grabbed a big old rock and threw it into the side window of the rear door. Wouldn't you know it, the Safety Glass wouldn't break.

I wound up then borrowing a Hammer, and had to hit the window oh, about 10 times, and finally I broke the damm thing.

That was another issue of one of the Police Officers who was eventually rescued from his burning vehicle, that the people trying to get him out couldn't break the glass or something.

These cars do need some sort of 'Emergency' release to be able to break the safety glass somehow. If you were in an accident, and say the battery of the car was smashed, and the doors become jammed from the accident, and a fire breaks out, the power windows are not going to work, and you are not going to be able to get out.

Maybe an window crank should be on the doors, as a back up to the power window option, in the event such a scenerio were to happen to a motorist, it is not impossible and really shouldn't cost much to add.

But all in all, the Crown Victoria / Mercury Marquis are the safest Cars on the Market.

There is no alternative, unless General Motors wakes up and reintroduces a rear wheel drive Impala or Caprice, with a Body on Frame assembly.

General motors Front Wheel Drive Cars do not cut it for Police Activity, if you jump a curb using the new Impala's, you are not going anywhere afterwards because you wind up ripping apart the front drive assembly.

Rear Wheel Drive Cars, with Body on Frame Assemblies have their advantages for many other purposes also.

For Ford to say 'Take it or Leave it' - might be a bit callous, but lets be real here, anyone expecting to be able to safely get out of a car that is standing still that was just rammed by another car donig 70 Miles an Hour, is Expecting a hell of a lot, Police Included.

So, that is my Hard Take on this story.

Any Car Nuts out there have an Opinion on this? - Blog It!


Anonymous Dialtone said...

My comments are NOT aimed at Ford in particular, but automakers in general. Safety is one of those issues that seems to be driven by profit and regulation. Most automakers do little to address known safety issues unless either forced to do so by regulation or lawsuits which in turn affect profits in an adverse manner.
Now, having said that, one would think Ford would be more sensative to a fuel spill / fire issue after the Pinto episodes of the past.
I agree that is is almost impossible to design a vehicle to endure ANY and ALL eventualities, but containing a highly flamable and possibly explosive fuel would seem to be one of those considerations that would be high up on the list of priorities for any manufacturer.
If the designers are stumped as to how to tackle the problem, I suggest they consult some of the race car build teams. They seem to have some excellent ideas on how to protect their drivers from this type of senario. Their fuel cells are designed to survive almost any eventuality.

12:50 PM, March 22, 2005  
Blogger Hard Attack said...

Thanks for your comments, but in Defense of Ford, they have implimented some extreme safety features.

For instance, the moment a Ford Vehicle is Bumped from the rear with a force of I believe 5 mph or Greater, the Car is automatically shut down, so the fuel pump will stop, and gasoline flow will halt.

Also, it wasn't just the Pinto, but the Galaxie's of the late 1960's also were on the fire list also.

But yes, more could be done, Ford did offer to install a 'Safety Plate' inbetween the gas tank and the rear axle, I am not aware of this being mandatory, but to be honest, in the next day or so, I intend on going down to my local Ford Dealer to find out.

I cannot see Ford, after having to face the crisis they were up against from a nation that was outraged at them for their Pinto & Galaxie fire hazards to not do the best that can be done regarding this model car.

Not for nothing, but have you ever looked under a Lumina? - The Gas Tank is under the passenger seats. When I saw that on my Lumina, after I purchased it, it gave me the chills to be honest.

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