No wonder Ford cannot sell its POS product . . . it's crappy and it kills!

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
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Ford owners kept in the dark until cars blow up
In 2002, after a dozen police officers had died in fiery rear-end crashes over a decade's time, Ford created rubber and plastic shields to cover sharp parts around the fuel tank of the Crown Victoria police car to help prevent punctures and fires.

Ford has three civilian models - the regular Crown Victoria, the Town Car, and the Mercury Grand Marquis - that have the gas tank in the same location, sticking up in the trunk area. These are the only American-made automobiles with the tank behind the rear axle.
Now that's a real winning idea . . . let's place a tank full of volatile liquid/gas BEHIND the axle.

ts top safety official said civilian drivers do not need them because they do not use their cars like police officers
----
Ford engineers found the limousine's fuel tank had been pierced by a bolt that would have been protected by the shields on police cars.
Hmm, let's see I don't expect somebody to T-bone my car but I still have reinforced door beams and side airbags.

Autopsy reports showed two of the sisters were unhurt by the impact. The third, Parker, did suffer some internal injuries. But the cause of death for each was listed as burns and smoke inhalation.

Parker, the oldest sister, was a heart transplant survivor. She and her husband had recently adopted a baby son. Poplin was also a new mother. Howell, the youngest, was a high school honor student and cheerleader.
Ford settled b/c they were going to get CRUSHED and deservedly so.

At the same time Ford came up with the shields, it offered police the option of buying a reinforced storage pack for items in the trunk to keep them from piercing the tank in rear-end crashes.

Last April, in Wood River, Illinois, a jury awarded a woman $43.7 million in damages after her husband died when the force of a rear-end crash pushed a wrench through the tank of their Town Car sedan. She was badly burned in the fire.

The jury foreman, Edward Friedel, said Ford should have given civilian drivers the opportunity to buy the same storage pack.

In deliberations, Friedel said, "One juror just blurted out, 'Does anybody feel that Ford did something wrong?' and that's when, unanimously, everybody said yes, they withheld the truth."
Obviously, Ford didn't "offer" the storage pack b/c then they would have to acknowledge their cars had a troubling habit of blowing up.
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
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I always wonder about the bean counters that think this makes sense.

Even if you keep the original (bad) design, the "fix" isn't that expensive. Last time I heard, people will OFTEN reward a company with loyalty if the company does the right thing. To the contrary, bad pub will lead to losing current and would-be customers.

Ford skirted by the Bronco thing which is probably why they thought they could get away with the Explorer.

Even Toyota issues recalls, so why not bite the bullet and fix all those old people mobiles?! I like riding in the back of a Lincoln Town Car. I even purchased a horribly depreciating LS for the wife several years ago.

This case is just another example of how useless several regulators have become.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is watching the matter, a spokesman said, but has no plans to begin any investigation. He said this is considered a consumer issue between the car owner and the manufacturer.
Seems like risk of mortal harm is a little more than a consumer issue . . .
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
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Originally posted by: 3chordcharlie
Does anyone still think product liability lawsuits are inherently frivolous?

Not me. There may a few friviolous lawsuits, but not enough to start limiting damage awards. It's the variable that keeps more of this "Cheaper to fight it then change it" mentality that big corporations seem to have from growing.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,095
513
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I heard about this over a year ago. Many police depts started letting their officers pick cars that were not crown victorias. The story I saw thought by Ford admitting a problem and fixing it on the next model it opened them up to a liability by not fixing the older cars.

 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
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Originally posted by: Genx87
I heard about this over a year ago. Many police depts started letting their officers pick cars that were not crown victorias. The story I saw thought by Ford admitting a problem and fixing it on the next model it opened them up to a liability by not fixing the older cars.

But that doesn't make sense. They were open to liability b/c the ORIGINAL design was flawed, they KNEW it was flawed, and they knew how to FIX it but made a conscious decision to NOT fix it on current or past vehicles . . . unless someone knew about it . . . 5.0.

I remember when the first few cases with the police hit the press. My first thought, "no shyte, if you rear-end a car at high speed it might blow up." But once you get the design details you go, "what moron thought that was a good idea?!"
 

3chordcharlie

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2004
9,859
1
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Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
Originally posted by: Genx87
I heard about this over a year ago. Many police depts started letting their officers pick cars that were not crown victorias. The story I saw thought by Ford admitting a problem and fixing it on the next model it opened them up to a liability by not fixing the older cars.

But that doesn't make sense. They were open to liability b/c the ORIGINAL design was flawed, they KNEW it was flawed, and they knew how to FIX it but made a conscious decision to NOT fix it on current or past vehicles . . . unless someone complain . . . 5.0.

Well 'just deny the problem' is the SOP in many fields, whether business, politics, or cheating on your spouse:p
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,095
513
126
Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
Originally posted by: Genx87
I heard about this over a year ago. Many police depts started letting their officers pick cars that were not crown victorias. The story I saw thought by Ford admitting a problem and fixing it on the next model it opened them up to a liability by not fixing the older cars.

But that doesn't make sense. They were open to liability b/c the ORIGINAL design was flawed, they KNEW it was flawed, and they knew how to FIX it but made a conscious decision to NOT fix it on current or past vehicles . . . unless someone knew about it . . . 5.0.

True however it would open them upto negligence. The gist of the story was Ford was not being very smart about what they were doing with regards to this matter.

You cant admit there is a problem and refuse to fix it and then tout it as a feature on a new model.

 

3chordcharlie

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2004
9,859
1
81
Originally posted by: Genx87
Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
Originally posted by: Genx87
I heard about this over a year ago. Many police depts started letting their officers pick cars that were not crown victorias. The story I saw thought by Ford admitting a problem and fixing it on the next model it opened them up to a liability by not fixing the older cars.

But that doesn't make sense. They were open to liability b/c the ORIGINAL design was flawed, they KNEW it was flawed, and they knew how to FIX it but made a conscious decision to NOT fix it on current or past vehicles . . . unless someone knew about it . . . 5.0.

True however it would open them upto negligence. The gist of the story was Ford was not being very smart about what they were doing with regards to this matter.

You cant admit there is a problem and refuse to fix it and then tout it as a feature on a new model.

They're already open to negligence.

This is another thing I file under 'when you're executives are paid based on quarterly results, how can you expect them to make good long-term decisions'.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
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Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
I always wonder about the bean counters that think this makes sense.

As a CPA I often see remarks like this and wonder WTF?

Accountants are not engineers and do not make decisions on how to build products etc. Now, they might ask us to quantify or estimate the costs of adding in this shield etc. But the accountants are not going to be the ones charged with making such a decision. That just wouldn't make any sense.

And where are the corp lawyers in this analysis? Aren't they responsible for alerting management of the potential for legal responsibility?

BTW: This is not meant to pick on BaliBabyDoc, I'm just commenting on what I feel is another "dog ate my homework" type of excuse used by corp execs who don't wanna take responsibility for their own decisions.

Fern
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
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Originally posted by: Fern
Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
I always wonder about the bean counters that think this makes sense.

As a CPA I often see remarks like this and wonder WTF?

Accountants are not engineers and do not make decisions on how to build products etc. Now, they might ask us to quantify or estimate the costs of adding in this shield etc. But the accountants are not going to be the ones charged with making such a decision. That just wouldn't make any sense.

And where are the corp lawyers in this analysis? Aren't they responsible for alerting management of the potential for legal responsibility?

BTW: This is not meant to pick on BaliBabyDoc, I'm just commenting on what I feel is another "dog ate my homework" type of excuse used by corp execs who don't wanna take responsibility for their own decisions.

Fern

Your being too senstitive. He's not talking about the actual bookeepers just doing there job, he is refering to the people who are making choices based on "the beans" instead of what needs to be done.
 

desy

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2000
5,433
204
106
From Captn's link

"The Police Interceptor has been the target of criticism because of fires following rear end collisions, but Sgt. Keith Wilson of the Michigan State Police Precision Driving Team said he wasn't concerned.

Given the large numbers of Crown Vics in police use, and given that these cars are frequently hit at speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour while parked at the sides of freeways, some resultant fires should not be surprising, he said."
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
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Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: Fern
Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
I always wonder about the bean counters that think this makes sense.

As a CPA I often see remarks like this and wonder WTF?

Accountants are not engineers and do not make decisions on how to build products etc. Now, they might ask us to quantify or estimate the costs of adding in this shield etc. But the accountants are not going to be the ones charged with making such a decision. That just wouldn't make any sense.

And where are the corp lawyers in this analysis? Aren't they responsible for alerting management of the potential for legal responsibility?

BTW: This is not meant to pick on BaliBabyDoc, I'm just commenting on what I feel is another "dog ate my homework" type of excuse used by corp execs who don't wanna take responsibility for their own decisions.

Fern

Your being too senstitive. He's not talking about the actual bookeepers just doing there job, he is refering to the people who are making choices based on "the beans" instead of what needs to be done.


Exactly . . . arguably the actuarial arm is akin to our "responsible" intelligence agencies. They crunch the numbers . . . just the facts. It's then up to far less "intelligent" people to decide what to do about the numbers.

Obviously, some engineers are to blame b/c its hard to believe they did not consider the "tank behind the axle" to be a potential problem in rear-end accidents.

For example, Lincoln wanted better balance in the Lincoln LS so they placed the battery in the trunk. I imagine someone said, "hey, why not just move the gas tank behind the axle . . ." and after the laughter died down, he was promptly fired for being a friggin' moron.


In the final analysis, its a question of priorities and culture. Volvo could probably make more profit per vehicle (or sell them cheaper) if they included fewer safety features but they consider their safety reputation and record to be an asset . . . something that should be fiercely protected. Ford is left to hide from his safety reputation and record. The best they can do is brag about owning Volvo.
 

3chordcharlie

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2004
9,859
1
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Originally posted by: desy
From Captn's link

"The Police Interceptor has been the target of criticism because of fires following rear end collisions, but Sgt. Keith Wilson of the Michigan State Police Precision Driving Team said he wasn't concerned.

Given the large numbers of Crown Vics in police use, and given that these cars are frequently hit at speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour while parked at the sides of freeways, some resultant fires should not be surprising, he said."

There is *some* validity to this statement.

Are there any other modern cruisers with enough data available to determine if the Crown Vic is more dangerous?

Even if there is, avoiding negligence would require that the fix be considered, developed, and implemented in a timely fashion.

From my lifegurding experience many years ago, I remember a provision tht if something happened resulting in injury or death that could reasonably be shown to be 'not expectable', this could be a defence of any liability, but only the first time; once it has happened, it is no longer 'not expectable' and becomes something that needs to be considered nd prevented.
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
0
0
Originally posted by: desy
From Captn's link

"The Police Interceptor has been the target of criticism because of fires following rear end collisions, but Sgt. Keith Wilson of the Michigan State Police Precision Driving Team said he wasn't concerned.

Given the large numbers of Crown Vics in police use, and given that these cars are frequently hit at speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour while parked at the sides of freeways, some resultant fires should not be surprising, he said."

Uh, isn't that a reason to NOT place the gas tank behind the axle? If you choose to do so, wouldn't that be a reason to provide extra shielding for the tank and possibly even items in the trunk?
 

Gravity

Diamond Member
Mar 21, 2003
5,685
0
0
Ha!! the crown vic is still on the Louisiana state purchase plan. The charger is too but I was surprised to see the CV still made it.
 

HombrePequeno

Diamond Member
Mar 7, 2001
4,657
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You'd think they would have learned their lesson from the Pinto.

I honestly don't think Ford is going to make in the coming years. GM has a decent possibility but I'm pessimistic about Ford.
 

OrganizedChaos

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2002
4,525
0
0
Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
Originally posted by: desy
From Captn's link

"The Police Interceptor has been the target of criticism because of fires following rear end collisions, but Sgt. Keith Wilson of the Michigan State Police Precision Driving Team said he wasn't concerned.

Given the large numbers of Crown Vics in police use, and given that these cars are frequently hit at speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour while parked at the sides of freeways, some resultant fires should not be surprising, he said."

Uh, isn't that a reason to NOT place the gas tank behind the axle? If you choose to do so, wouldn't that be a reason to provide extra shielding for the tank and possibly even items in the trunk?

its a body on frame RWD vehicle, where else would you put it? the only reason they were able to put it under the drivers floor boards in the explorer is because the body is 10 inches higher (and i'm sure there would be outrage over cops sitting directly above fuel tanks. if they moved it in fornt of the axle the wheel base would have to be like 2 feet longoer.
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
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Originally posted by: HombrePequeno
You'd think they would have learned their lesson from the Pinto.

I honestly don't think Ford is going to make in the coming years. GM has a decent possibility but I'm pessimistic about Ford.

And before that they got sued for having their gas tanks inside the cabs of pickup trucks, even though they had done a study that showed them how unsafe it was.