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  1. #1
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Ford Crown Vics, new info.

    A lot of fire departments have Ford Crown Victorias
    and I wanted to pass along some info. I got from a
    friend in the California Highway Patrol (CHP)

    As you may know, there have been several rear end
    explosions involving the Ford Crown Vics. The CHP
    is one of the biggest consumers of the police
    vehicles and they get rear-ended weekly with no
    explosions known to date.

    WHY? The CHP modifys the factory delivered car once
    it gets to the state. They shear off two pins near
    the gas tank and add a protective plate. No incidents
    known to date after this modifcation.

    This is just word of mouth info. I highly suggest you
    call or write the CHP automotive section if you want
    more info. www.chp.ca.gov. We should be getting more
    info. on this issue as it comes out. Thanks
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 09-20-2002 at 01:57 AM.


  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    This is certainly a topic that should interest us, not only from a firefighting perspective...but, realizing that many departments USE the Crown Victoria as a Chief/Assist Chief vehicle...it becomes a personal safety issue within your department. There are many conflicting reports regarding problems with this vehicle's fuel tank. It depends on which side you listen to. Perhaps those of you having experience in matters relating to this issue, could post some comments in this thread.

    For starts, Crown Victoria Fires

    Let me pose this question....WHY hasn't the technology of FUEL BLADDERS, as used by NASCAR, CART, IMSA...etc., made it's way to the entire consumer automobile industry??? Is it a cost issue?


    Phoenix, AZ apparently took the initiative...and started installing fuel cells in their Crown Vics. Rather than wait for an accident to take the life of one of their own...they decided to be proactive!

    Phoenix Refits

    What are your thoughts? Should fuel cells/bladders be standard on today's automobiles? They've been around for years. I thought that auto manufacturers used racing technology...as a learning tool...and would then apply that technology to the street? Why hasn't that happened with fuel cells?
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  3. #3
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    They haven't implemented fuel cells because we're just right on the verge of hydrogen-based fuel technology...giggle! Sorry, I almost got it out with a straight face.

    Detroit (& elsewhere) will never do anything that Uncle Sam doesn't mandate. That's the ugly armpit of the truth.
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  4. #4
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Eastkyff - You crack me up. First you're on teh squirty end of the hose and then you try to say that Hydrogen is just around the corner. Pretty soon you'll be trying not to laugh when you tell us Ethanol is cheaper than gas. The eco-nuts hate the truth.

    In addition to not being mandated by the Feds to put bladders and cells in gas tanks, it is a liability thing. If they do this, then they are, by default, saying that the original gas tanks are unsafe (at least this is how the ambulance chasers would see it). Fuel cells are not all that much more expensive to do either, but the beancounters will say that it is too expensive when compared to the cost of litigation.

    The problem here is that this is not just from the new Crown Vics. This problem with gas tanks goes back 2 generations of teh vehicles (if I read the information correctly). There were no corrective measures taken before and the information was known about this. At least a dozen police officers have died in these collisions as well as a number of civilians in their own Crown Vics and Mercury Grand Marquis.

    Looks like Ford didn't learn from the Pinto, the Explorer (along with Bridgestone), or any of the other things that they have encountered when redesigning a vehicle. I know Ford is not the only one to do this either, but eventually you are going to smacked with a HUGE decision that will cost you a fortune for not spending a couple extra bucks. But why should anyone learn things the easy way.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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  5. #5
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default OK...

    Ok all. thanks for the feedback. I just found it
    interesting the the biggest comsumer of the Police
    Crown Vic has had NO explosions AND they get
    rear-ended on a weekly basis. (its a big state)

    So, if the CHP is doing this on their own, why
    cant Ford or anyone else follow suit and do the
    same????

  6. #6
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    Now that I hit the right button,
    The city garage has making the same modification to our PDís squads. I believe they said it was a recall or something similar, I have not see an actual recall notice though.

  7. #7
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I tip my leather to those departments that are making the modifications, even though the outcome of litigations and investigations are pending. It could take years before any headway is made in determining whether they are safe or unsafe. If you are really interested in protecting your personnel...spend the money, time and efforts to insure their safety. It certainly can't hurt.

    My point regarding manufacturers was that their racing programs are "supposed" to be the test track for performance and safety issues. If they have found bladders to be safer than traditional fuel tanks...why not at least OFFER them as options, if not standard equipment. I would think that something like that would be attractive to consumers..a terrific selling point...but apparently, the marketing experts disagree.

    I would certainly consider one...if it were available from the carmaker...from the factory.
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  8. #8
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Phoenix, AZ 9/25/02

    Panel meeting to recommend ways to make Crown Victorias safer
    PHOENIX (AP) - A panel is meeting here Thursday to whip up
    remedies to help prevent deadly fires in Ford Crown Victoria Police
    Interceptors.
    Twelve patrolmen nationwide have burned to death in Crown
    Victorias, three in Arizona.
    The panel will look into changes in police procedures and
    vehicle markings that could prevent collisions, as well as at the
    work being done by Ford's Technical Task Force, which is testing
    shields, fire-suppression systems and fuel-tank bladders designed
    to lesson the risk of fire.
    Safety experts and plaintiffs' attorneys say the design of the
    Crown Victoria's vertical fuel tank is the problem.
    In a crash, the tank can be pushed into the rear axle and
    suspension, where it can rupture.
    Ford says the fuel tank is a safe design, but the company has
    agreed to study ways to enhance crashworthiness.
    At least 26 civilians nationwide have burned to death in fires
    in Crown Victorias or similar models.
    The nine-member panel, composed of experts appointed by state
    Attorney General Janet Napolitano and Ford Motor Co., plans to meet
    all day.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
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  9. #9
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    First of all, to Dasharkie, I assume you are talking about the Pinto fires. Pintos meet and exceeded all Federal Safety Standards for collisions when they were built.
    Companies can only do so much to their vehicles to make them safe yet still affordable to people, especially with our salaries.
    The Crown Victorias that were hit also exceeded all federal safety standards. Their are a few reasons for the crashes, fires and ultimatley the deaths. AZ police modify their own vechicles after receipt from the manufactuer. Second, they store sharp objects in trucks as well as heavy objects. Manufactures can only protect against so much. The vechicles were hit at over 80 mph, and at least one by a semi truck. Some of the officers had not pulled off onto the shoulder, some of AZ highways do not have the rumble strip to alert drivers that they are on the shoulder.
    If you want better cars, you have to be willing to pay for it and the federal government must mandate it. Ford Crown Vics exceed federal safety standards. How far past what is required should manufactures have to go to not be blamed for excessive speed accidents.
    Sorry if this comes across a bit witchy, it just seems to me as though sometimes we hold manufactures to an unfair standard for our safety when we dont hold ourselves to the same.

  10. #10
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Pintos meet and exceeded all Federal Safety Standards for collisions when they were built.
    Ford Crown Vics exceed federal safety standards.
    Just because a vehicle exceeds the federal standards doesn't mean squat. There are safety recalls all the time for vehicles that exceed standars.

    Secondly. I don't put a hole lot of stock in the federal government's standards. These have been enhanced ro revamped since the eraly to mid 1960s. Technology, materials, teh environment, and a multitude of factors have changed since these standards were put into place.

    I remember a few years ago that Chevrolet and GMC were lambasted because their pick-up's gas tanks ruptured. Again, they exceeded federal safety standards but there was "supposedly" a problem with the gas tank placement. Other than ABC having to literally blow the truck up to demonstrate the "flaw" there wasn't a big to do made over it.

    In addition, many companies do things for vehicles without a federal mandate. GM has had Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) on their vehicles for years (Personally I am a believer in these little gadgets), Dodge put airbags in ALL of their vehicles BEFORE it became a federal mandate, Fuel cells are being researched for a better application in the near future for civilian vehicles, I don't believe that side airbags are mandated for vehicles but almost every car out there offers them or soon will, and in the next few years you are going to be seeing 4-point harnesses in passenger cars for occupant restraints.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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  11. #11
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    The Federal Government can bot be held responsible for everyones safety in vehicles, but where do you draw the line for manufacturers? The Crwon Vics drivers also have to take some responsibility. When vehicles are hit at over 100 mph by a semi truck, there is only so mcuh a company can do to protect you in situations like that. In MI htere was an accidnet where a Crown Vic was rear ended by a semi in excess of 65 mph while the officer was in the vehicle writing a ticket. The car did not catch fire, and the officer lived. Could the way that AZ troppers are refiguring their trucks have something to do with the fact that they are the state that has the most crown vic fires? Technology is constantly improving, is it fair to hold companies responsible to go back and retro-fit vehicles that were up to stnadards at the time of production? Should they have to put airbags in all vechicles now because they are available? Should they have to equip all vechilces with side airbags becasue they are available? I dont think so, we have to take some responsiblity for our own safety. IF you want side airbags you are going to have to dchoose that option and pay more for it. The officers need to take some responsibility for their safety and pull off of hte highway, stop adapting the truck to a better storage design for them if it compromises the integrity of hte vehicle. Where do you draw the line at how far companies should go beyond federal standards? Daytime running lights, my vehcile is not equipped with them, but you know what, my lights are always on because I take the extra 5 seconds and turn them on myself just like I put my set belt on. It is just a safety feature that s there that you have to take some responsibility for.

  12. #12
    Forum Member FiremedicMike's Avatar
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    So uh, considering most crown vic's are drivin by the cheif/ac, wouldn't we _WANT_ them to be more likely to explode?


  13. #13
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    Moves me up the ladder.

  14. #14
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Exclamation Please dont lose sight...

    My whole basis of this thread was the fact that the
    CHP modifys their cars once received. AGAIN, they
    but THE MOST Crown Vics out there and anyone else.
    We are talking hundreds and hundreds just in storage.

    SO, they have had NO explosions. NONE after getting
    hit on a WEEKLY basis. I want to bang my head against
    the wall because they are doing something that is
    working while other citys, countys and states mull
    over the issue...HELLO...wake up....we have a fix!

    Thanks for reading...

  15. #15
    Forum Member Engine101's Avatar
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    Monrovia PD uses Crown Vics No problems with them MPD just got there new order of Crown Vics in last week
    CHP has also started to use camroes now

  16. #16
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Arrow FYI...this just in!

    WASHINGTON (AP) - A 10-month federal investigation ended
    Thursday without finding a defect in the Ford Crown Victoria police
    cars linked to the fiery deaths of a dozen officers.
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the car
    exceeds federal standards for fuel system safety and the rate of
    fires was not much greater than with Chevrolet Caprice police cars.
    Each of the 12 officers' deaths since 1983 involved a Crown
    Victoria gas tank catching fire, often after being hit in the rear
    in a high-speed crash.
    NHTSA said the car meets current federal standards that require
    a vehicle to withstand a rear crash at 30 miles per hour without
    leaking fuel. The agency also said the vehicle did not leak fuel
    during a test at 50 miles per hour, which the agency has proposed
    to be the new standard.
    "Clearly, we know the vehicle meets the regulation so it's
    great to see this has happened, but it's not a surprise," said
    Ford Motor Co. spokeswoman Sara Tatchio.
    The agency opened its investigation on Nov. 27, 2001, and has
    found 26 fires that led to 16 deaths and 11 injuries. Four of the
    deaths were from crashes involving civilian Crown Victoria cars.
    NHTSA found that from 1992-2001, vehicles with the Crown
    Victoria's fuel system involved in a rear crash caught fire 8
    percent of the time, compared to 6.3 percent with the fuel system
    used in the Chevrolet Caprice.
    NHTSA said almost all of the Crown Victoria fuel leaks occurred
    after a very high-speed crash and that many high-energy rear
    crashes did not lead to a significant fuel leak. Ford said the
    crashes that led to fires were almost always at speeds higher than
    60 mph with some as high as 84 mph.
    Ford agreed Friday to pay for the installation of shields around
    the gas tanks on Crown Victoria police cars to reduce the chances
    that the vehicles would burst into flames after a crash.
    There are 350,000 Crown Victoria cars used by police departments
    nationwide - approximately 80 percent of police cars on the road in
    the United States.
    Ford officials insisted the Crown Victoria is a safe car, and
    modifications to the consumer version are not necessary because
    most drivers don't put submit cars to the pressures that police
    officers do.
    Former NHTSA administrator Joan Claybrook, president of consumer
    advocacy group Public Citizen, said the agency and Ford are
    irresponsible to avoid a recall of the consumer version. Besides a
    shield to prevent fires, she said the structure needs to be
    redesigned.
    "Consumers drive just as rapidly in most cases as police do on
    open highways and they are at risk," she said.
    NHTSA said it expects Ford's action will reduce the likelihood
    of fires in Crown Victoria police cars, but the fix was not a
    factor in its decision to close this investigation. The agency also
    said it will continue to monitor the performance of the cars and
    will join the International Association of Chiefs of Police to
    study police vehicle safety.
    Ford said it would be happy to work with the coalition to keep
    officers safe.
    ---
    On the Net:
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov
    Ford Motor Co., http://www.ford.com

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  17. #17
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    My personal opinion...



    Let the cops keep the P71's, and we can drive areound in our forest units, with the tube bars, and smash into em.
    My personal opinion, I hate the cops, The pd here is now running our ambulance and it sucks, we lost so many calls....

    RECALL ALL THE FD P71's

  18. #18
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Question ummmmm, ok....

    I just gotta ask...What does any of the mean in the
    post above? Smach the police cars and the police run
    the ambulance service....ummm, lay the crack pipe
    down, we are talking about a particular car in here,
    the Crown Victoria.

  19. #19
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Arrow The latest

    PHOENIX (AP) - Shields designed to protect the fuel tanks on
    Crown Victoria police cars will be available to police agencies
    beginning next week, a Ford Motor Co. spokeswoman said.
    Last month, Ford agreed to fund installation of the shields in
    350,000 patrol cars after police departments complained the
    vehicles are prone to burst into flames in high-speed, rear-end
    collisions. At least a dozen officers across the country have been
    killed in fiery crashes in Crown Victorias since 1983, including
    three in Arizona.
    About 80 percent of police cars on the road in the United States
    are Ford Crown Victorias.
    The first 40,000 shield kits will arrive Monday at Ford customer
    service centers across the nation, spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said
    Tuesday. A total of 190,000 kits are to be shipped by month's end.
    Ford expects to have all Crown Victoria police cars fitted by
    the end of the year.
    The repair work will take place at Ford dealerships or in police
    department garages, depending on the department's regular
    maintenance routines, she said. Police departments that are not
    already scheduled to receive the kits may register online or call
    Ford.
    Shields made of plastic and rubber will be installed on the rear
    axle, the differential and underneath the gas tanks. Those
    components have either been faulted in accidents or showed the
    potential to puncture the gas tank in crash tests.
    Ford officials have declined to say how much the modifications
    will cost. But a state government official speaking on condition of
    anonymity last month said it would cost about $50 million to
    retrofit all the Crown Victorias used by police departments
    nationwide.
    "It is a significant cost," Kinley said. "But we know it's
    the right thing to do."
    All new Crown Victoria police cars are being manufactured with
    the shields already built in. The first such cars came off the
    assembly line Monday, Kinley said.
    Ford announced its decision to retrofit the cars last month in
    Arizona, where the state attorney general's office was closely
    involved with the efforts to make the police cars safer. After the
    third Arizona officer died in a fiery crash on June 12, Attorney
    General Janet Napolitano pressed Ford for a recall of all Crown
    Victoria Police Interceptors.
    Ford didn't agree to the recall. Instead, it created two panels
    to study the matter, which led to the recommendation that the cars
    be retrofitted. Ford has maintained that the cars are safe.
    ---
    On the Net:
    Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor site,
    http://www.cvpi.com/
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  20. #20
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Thanks...

    NJFF- Thank you for the info. I hope the info gets to the
    people in the fire service with Crown Vic as well...Bou

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