A white Dodge Durango Pursuit is pictured on a blue Rotary lift.

After 40 Durango Pursuits were taken out of service, Indiana State Police expects another 40 to have the same problem.

Photo: Indiana State Police

A number of troopers with Indiana State Police (ISP) are forced to use pool vehicles, due to what the agency calls mechanical issues caused by defective oil coolers in the newly-purchased vehicles.

Nearly a Quarter of Newly-Assigned Vehicles Out of Service

WSBT reported that the department recently ordered 516 Dodge Durango Pursuit vehicles worth $25.8 million, as part of its move away from Dodge Charger Pursuits. The switch was made, an agency spokesperson told Government Fleet, to allow the fleet to maintain an AWD V8 vehicle keeping with the same manufacturer for part interchangeability.

So far, 219 of the new Durangos have been assigned to patrol duties. Of those vehicles, 40 of them at various districts have experienced mechanical failures. 

The agency expects another 40 to have the same problem. When asked how they came to that total, the spokesperson told GF that they used the same ratio of the number of failures from the number already issued and applied the same percentage to those vehicles they have not yet issued. 

Three photos side by side show engine oil in the engine coolant reservoir and an engine oil and coolant mixture overflowing from the reservoir onto the ground.

ISP officials say the mechanical failures were caused by defective oil coolers.

Photo: Indiana State Police

In May alone, 15 vehicles failed, forcing the department to stop issuing the new vehicles until a solution is found. The repairs, which are being made at dealerships around the state, could take between four and eight weeks.

There are pool cars placed at districts throughout the state; troopers are using those while they await repairs. Others who are due for vehicle replacements are continuing to drive aging vehicles.

The spokesperson said the agency's Indiana Department of Administration partners are in contact with Stellantis, along with ISP Superintendent Doug Carter and Logistics Division personnel. The agency has not been given a timeframe for any corrective action.

A dealership employee works with a Dodge Durango Pursuit engine.

The repairs, which are being made at dealerships around the state, could take between four and eight weeks.

Photo: Indiana State Police

“ISP has used Dodge as our primary police vehicle provider for the last decade-and-a-half, it is unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this precarious position," Carter said.  “We’re having to sideline brand new vehicles, losing out on their value and functionality… the citizens and taxpayers of Indiana are being shortchanged and deserve better.”

A Stellantis spokesperson released a statement to Government Fleet, saying:

"The Dodge Durango Pursuit meets or exceeds all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards and is subject to severe operating conditions to which the standard, retail version of the Durango is immune. Further, certain oil-cooler issues are difficult to detect, which may lead to collateral damage and a highly complex remedy. We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused to the Indiana State Police and are working to expedite service for these vehicles. Since the model launched in 2018, it has been deployed with thousands of police agencies across North America, and overall feedback has been exemplary."

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