Story in Newsday.com about crashes involving Crown Victorias used by police agencies. It appears that the location of the gas tank on the cars is the culprit. The worst crashes involve stopped police cars that are hit from behind, a disturbing problem, because police vehicles are frequently stopped on the side of interstates, where the possibility of getting hit from behind by a car traveling at a high rate of speed is high.
The NHTSA investigated 23 fires in Crown Victorias between 2001 and 2003. The study concluded that the vehicles performed no worse than other vehicles in their class, and thus there was no safety defect.
Critics of the Corwn Victoria say the fuel tank is located in a crush zone, that absorbs the energy of an impact and can cause the fuel tank to rupture. Since the late 1990’s Ford has implimented shield systems to shield the tank from impact, and has offered a fire suppression system that sprays the area with foam in the event of a collision.
The website crown victoriasafetyalert.com details cases where Crown Victoria police cars have been involved in fiery, explosive crashes. Many have been seriously burned and even killed in these vehicles.