Gas Tank Explosions (Crown Victoria Police Cars)

Ford's Crown Victoria, a favorite of law enforcement agencies and civilians alike, has a major design flaw that puts many people at risk. There is a problem with the placement of the gas tank in Ford’s “Panther” line of cars, which includes the Ford Crown Victoria, the Mercury Grand Marquis, the Lincoln Town Car, and most police cruisers. Because the gas tank is badly placed in this model, along with the poor placement of a bolt nearby the gas tank, this car model is prone to gas tank explosions when in a rear end collision.

The Ford Crown Victoria has not been redesigned since 1979 and the outdated model poses a threat to anyone who comes into contact with it. In this particular model, the gas tank is placed between the rear axle and the rear bumper. Studies done since the design of the car show that this is not the proper placement; instead, the gas tank should be in front of the axle. In addition, there is a sharp bolt in the rear axle that can puncture the gas tank in a high-speed collision. This constitutes a major design flaw because when the car is struck in a high-speed rear end collision, there is the possibility of the gas tank being ruptured and exploding.

Ford Crown Victorias are the choice model of police cruiser for law enforcement agencies across the country. Ford boasts that the Crown Victoria holds 85% of the police cruiser market. This hold over the market has angered some in law enforcement because of the danger for an auto fire in a rear end collision with the Crown Victoria model. Fourteen officers have been killed nationwide as the result of an auto fire from a rear end collision in a Crown Victoria since 1982.

Ford has paid to have a fuel shield put on all the police cruisers as added protection against this design flaw, but some call this measure ineffective. In addition, Ford has not offered to pay to have the additional safety protection added on to civilian versions of the model. Being that the Crown Victoria is a favorite of taxi companies and civilians everywhere, there are lots of cars on the road that are in danger of a gas tank explosion if involved in a high-speed rear end collision.

Much litigation has already been brought against Ford for it’s flawed design. Anyone injured in an auto fire resulting from a Ford Crown Victoria, police or civilian models, has legal rights and should contact a lawyer to exercise them.