But Wait, If That Car Is So Dangerous Then…

Normally, I’m a big defender of the police because they risk their lives night in and night out only to be trashed for it by pols & race hustling poverty pimps who are looking to demagogue the cops for fun, profit, and/or votes.

However, there’s no way I can stand behind police departments as they try to play lawsuit lottery with Ford:

“About a year ago, Buffalo Grove police joined a class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. alleging that the company’s Crown Victoria sedans, the car of choice for most law-enforcement agencies, weren’t safe.

…Illinois is the only state with a class-action suit involving law-enforcement agencies, including the City of Chicago. But since 2002, 75 municipalities in 20 states have sued Ford, saying that when the Crown Vic is struck from behind at high speeds, the fuel tank, which is between the rear axle and the bumper, can be punctured easily and leak gas.

In the last 20 years, a dozen officers have died and 10 have been severely burned nationwide in fiery rear-end crashes.”

Not to belabor an obvious point, but you’re at risk in any car on the market if you’re “struck from behind at high speeds.” Furthermore, they have to put the gas tank somewhere and wherever it may be, you have to believe that there’s a possibility that it may be “punctured easily and leak gas” if another car rams into it.

That’s nothing but common sense, but there is some evidence to back it up in the article:

“Though federal regulators and a jury in an earlier phase of the trial determined that the car was safe, the judge in the suit, filed by dozens of police agencies in the state, is still considering safety and consumer fraud allegations against Ford. Meanwhile, attorneys are appealing the jury decision.

…Feeney, the attorney for Ford, said the location of the Crown Vic’s fuel tank doesn’t make it unsafe. The hazards inherent in patrol work are a big factor, he said, adding that law-enforcement officers often have to stop on the shoulder of a busy highway, making them vulnerable to rear-end collisions.”

Furthermore, there is a very basic question that needs to be asked: If the Crown Vics are such death traps….well, I don’t want to spoil it. Just read this excerpt and you’ll understand:

“But now Buffalo Grove–along with dozens of other police departments across Illinois–is trying to drop out of the suit. It wants to buy more Crown Victoria Interceptors, and Ford won’t sell them to any agency involved in the lawsuit.

…Despite the crash numbers, police say there’s nothing like the Crown Vic, with its roomy interior and powerful engine. Since Chevrolet stopped making the Caprice squad car in 1999, the Crown Vic has been the only rear-wheel-drive vehicle available, police say.

Statistics bear out its popularity: Eighty-five percent of police agencies in the nation use the Crown Vic.

…”We had all of these police departments who were suing us over the safety of the Crown Vic, yet continuing to buy the automobile,” said Jim Feeney, an attorney for Ford. “What’s wrong with that picture?”

About 1,500 police agencies and municipalities originally were part of the lawsuit. A party can opt out of a class-action lawsuit, but few did so before the trial began last September. After the jury ruled in favor of Ford last year, police agencies started petitioning the court to drop out.

Recently, six more towns hired a lawyer to help them get out of the lawsuit. Montgomery, Sugar Grove, Hampshire, Sleepy Hollow, Batavia and Dundee are paying $300 apiece to file the paperwork needed to withdraw from the lawsuit so they can purchase Crown Vics.

“The village’s whole fleet is Crown Vics,” said Montgomery village attorney Steven Andersson. “If we get out of the lawsuit, we can purchase them.”

Maybe it’s just me, but if you really believe that a model of car is so unsafe to drive that it inspires you to sue, are you going to be scrambling to buy more of those particular automobiles? Of course, you’re not.

The reality here is that there is no car that has ever been made that is guaranteed to be safe in every possible situation. Even humvees, vehicles which are an order of magnitude safer than anything you’re going to see on the street, are having a problem with rollovers. If these police departments are demanding a car that’s impervious to harm, they’re just out of luck because there is no such thing…

Hat tip to Ravenwood’s Universe & The Spoons Experience for the story.

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