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.