Government Fleet Top News

Ford Won't Sell Cars to Arkansas Police

December 29, 2004

EL DORADO, AR — A dispute with Arkansas' attorney general over claims made about its police cars has led Ford Motor Co. to suspend delivery of its Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) to Arkansas agencies, according to the Associated Press on December 20.“We believe some of the representations made by Ford regarding the CVPI are false,” the Arkansas 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.” On hold are 249 cars, including 40 for the state police.Ford says all of 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 said.The CVPI is also equipped with an engine oil cooler and a higher idle speed, which promotes greater coolant circulation speed during the extended idling periods that police vehicles often undergo. “In short, the Arkansas attorney general's findings are without merit,” said Tony Gratson, Ford's government sales manager, as quoted in the Associated Press article.Union County Sheriff Ken Jones said five cars were due for delivery recently but Ford refuses to release them to Arkansas. They were being held in Memphis, Tenn.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 said.

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