• Mar 8th 2007 at 8:57AM
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Note to criminals: if you're planning to be the lead car in a high-speed pursuit, your odds of getting away just got ever so slightly better. Ford Motor Company has decided to conduct a voluntary recall of its Crown Victoria police package Interceptor model (2003 model shown) because of small cracks that could form in the car's steel wheels during high speed pursuits. These cracks could cause "rapid air loss," or what the street folk call a blow-out, effectively allowing the no-goodnicks to get away and obviously putting the officer behind the wheel in a signifcant amount of danger.

About 109,664 examples of the 2003 to 2005 model will be recalled, though it's suspected that a very small percentage of active duty cop cars actually are rolling on defective wheels. Only two crashes have been attributed to the issue and no officers were injured. Nevertheless, Ford has been down the recall road with the Interceptor before, issuing a different wheel recall in 2003, as well as being forced to address potentially faulty gas tanks that could explode after a crash. Neither helped the automaker's relations with this country's law enforcement community, which doesn't bode well for the ancient Interceptor that's now facing stiff competition from the new hotness in police-issue whips, the Dodge Charger.

At the moment this new recall is a voluntary move by Ford, which has already notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of its actions. The recall will be targeted to owners of Interceptors with specific wheels that could be affected, who will be notified and told to visit nearby dealerships where the wheels and spares can be replaced.

[Source: MSNBC]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The picture is of a 1998-2002 model. I think it is the press picture for the 1998 P71.

      The wheel covers were changed in 2003 for the change in wheel which accomodates much bigger brakes. It was the change that convinved me that a Panther was now a worthy car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      So...they recalling them all at once?

      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford has gained so much knowledge about how to make a high speed cruiser from its Interceptor series. Too bad that knowledge hasn't translated into a great highway car for consumers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Same thing happened in the late 1960s. California's Highway Patrol bought Mercurys. Going through turns at high speeds the wheels had a tendency to just rip like paper. It took several CHP officers getting killed to get the problem resolved.

      I remember going down to the CHP station off I-8 in San Diego to get a VIN certified for a rebuilt motorcycle. Stacked up out back were crate after crate of new steel wheels. Meantime, the Mercurys were still in use, and each had a special paint sprayed on the wheels near the bolt pattern. It was a paint designed to peel and crack easily. Once that paint started to show a pattern, the wheels were replaced. This went on for quite a while.
      • 8 Years Ago
      OK- what about the puncture-prone fuel tanks that cause fiery police deaths? What about that Ford? Ford- you suck. I think all police depts should adopt the Charger. It's quicker by a large margin, it's more fuel efficient, better braking, better handling. Even though the Charger is not a good looking car in my opinion, it looks better and more tidy than a Crown Vic. They should just get rid of those cars altogether.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #1: You're right, because Autoblog states news (because, holy crap, I just found out something... Autoblog is a news blog! Yea, I couldn't believe it either! It's not there's news all over the front page all the time or anything), you'll notice a 145% increase in criminal activity and related high speed chases.

      In fact, I think I'll go murder, rob, and steal some cars just because of this post. I can't handle the free flow of information. I need large, influential sources to filter my information for me, like how mommy and daddy did when I was five years old.

      Come on dude...
      • 8 Years Ago
      used to have a Caprice 9C1 with the steel wheels and it was more of a maintenance issue (most depts dont want to replace mag wheeels in case someone clips a curb, etc..

      Ford should have been using better steel.
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