The Crown Victoria is the most popular police car in the country, "but every year there are a couple of police (car) explosions involving the Crown Vic," said Clarence Ditlow, president of the Center for Auto Safety, a Washington, D.C., group focused on the U.S. automotive industry which has unsuccessfully tried to get the Crown Victoria recalled after the fiery deaths and injuries of dozens of law enforcement officers around the country.
"You have officers who survive the trauma of a crash, but they die by fire and that should never happen," Ditlow
But its dominance wasn't intentional, Ditlow
"Both Chrysler and GM got out of the full-size, police fleet market," he said.
"The Crown Vic won by default."
In 2002 the Center for Auto Safety
unsuccessfully asked Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
to recall the vehicle, but efforts instead were made to retrofit them to help protect fuel tanks and outfit them with fuel-suppression systems, Ditlow
"The Crown Vic is a safe vehicle other than its fuel tank, which is located behind the rear axle in the so-called 'crush zone' of a rear impact," Ditlow
"The Crown Victoria is nothing more than an overgrown (Ford) Pinto."
Officers love the Crown Victoria's large trunk room for all of their equipment, its rear-wheel drive and roomy interior, Ditlow
"It is a good vehicle, but it has a terrible fuel system," he