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Jury Rules that Ford’s Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is Safe

October 20, 2004

BELLEVILLE, IL – Ford’s Crown Victoria police cruisers were ruled safe by a jury deciding the first class-action lawsuit against the automaker, according to the Associated Press. Class-action suits are pending in at least 12 states over the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, a specially built police cruiser that accounts for the majority of police cars in the United States.Since 1983, at least 14 officers nationwide have died after their Crown Victorias were rear-ended and caught on fire. Lawyers for Ford said it is how the vehicles are operated that creates a risk for serious accidents, not any design problems. Officers are more likely to drive at high speeds and park amongst traffic where the chance of an accident is higher.The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office and nearby Centreville Police Department sued Ford in 2002, accusing the automaker of fraud and deceptive trade practices in a bid to force the company to retrofit cruisers with special safety equipment. The jury was asked to decide whether Ford committed fraud by failing to disclose alleged problems with the car to law enforcement agencies. Jurors ruled that the car was safe and dismissed the fraud count.

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