209 Lubbock Police Cars Part of a National Ford Recall - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/3/03

209 Lubbock Police Cars Part of a National Ford Recall

According the City of Lubbock, Crown Victorias are the most popular cop car on the market and potentially the most dangerous. One-hundred and sixty seven Lubbock Police cars cruising the streets are potentially a moving fire hazard. Ford Motor Company recalled 1992-2003 Crown Victoria Police models across the nation. Ford says they recalled the vehicles because the gas tanks were prone to explode.

"On a rear-end collision they (the Crown Victorias) would go in and rupture the tank. Of course, gas is very volatile and as you rupture it, metal to metal creates spark," said Lubbock City's Fleet Managing Director Martha Ellerbrook.

All 167 cars are partially fixed. Back in October, Ford sent out a bulletin to municipalities and state law enforcement agencies saying sharp bolts and metal could tear open the gas tank. With that order, Ford advised each city and state to change out the bolts, but it was only on a voluntary basis. Now, Ford has directed a recall, the recall said of those cars, plastic covering needed to be installed.

"On the fuel tank, they have the hard plastic to cover up the bolts on both sides. You also have the sway bar brushing covered up. Going across the drive axle the plastic now makes everything smooth so it flows over if the car is hit from behind at a high speed," explained lead tech, L.D. Heacock.

"On the differential, they have a plastic cover on it to cover the roughness," Heacock further explained. "Why is it so important to cover the bolts?" NewsChannel 11 asked. "Anything sharp will tear into the fuel tank," Heacock answered.

In six weeks, Ellerbrook says Pollard Ford has fixed 42 Lubbock Police cars. She hopes to have the remaining 167 cars done in four months. Ellerbrook says back orders for these specific parts are the reason it may take the city so long to fix their cars. And as far as consumer Crown Victorias, they are not a part of the recall. The city has a total of 260 cars on their fleet, 40 of those are Chevrolet Impalas.

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