Illinois Jury Finds for Ford: Police Interceptor Is Safe Vehicle

Law & Order, December 2004 | Go to article overview

Illinois Jury Finds for Ford: Police Interceptor Is Safe Vehicle


An Illinois jury returned a verdict that the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is a safe, reliable police car, following findings by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the car exceeds federal standards for fuel system safety.

"No design can eliminate all risk in 70 mph or 80 mph collisions into parked police vehicles," said Ford attorney Doug Lampe. "The plaintiffs' attorneys were asking for a vehicle that's never been designed by a car company anywhere in the world-a car that is guaranteed to eliminate all risk of fuel leakage in such high-speed collisions. Instead, the jury used its common sense and found that the Police Interceptor has a proven record of safe, dependable service in high-risk police work.

"Ford is committed to making a safe car even safer, but courtroom engineering is not the answer." Lampe said. "To improve police officer safety in traffic stops requires a focus on the root of the problem: drunk driving."

There have been no accidents or injuries in the state of Illinois. This case was a class-action trial based on the value of after-market equipment sought by plaintiffs and did not have anything to do with personal injury.

This case was about plaintiffs' lawyers representing Illinois officers that have had no accidents, asking for compensation for equipment that was not ordered, not paid for, and that does not add to the safety of the vehicle. Neither the bladder nor the fire suppression powder panel is a proven technology. To improve police officer safety in traffic stops requires a focus on the root of the problem: drunk driving.

"The same plaintiffs' lawyers who brought this lawsuit also petitioned NHTSA to open an investigation into the Police Interceptor," Lampe pointed out. "NHTSA closed its investigation without ordering a recall. Having failed to convince the proper regulatory authorities, the plaintiffs' lawyers sought to have a court-sponsored vehicle designed by the lawyers, with the lawyers earning a percentage fee. …

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Illinois Jury Finds for Ford: Police Interceptor Is Safe Vehicle
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