We rely on the police to provide safety for us, but it seems that lately our police are the ones in need of safety. In August, General Motors announced the recall of more than 36,000 Chevrolet Impala vehicles because of a manufacturing defect that allowed the possibility of a fracture in the front control arms. While no injuries were reported as a result of this defect, the recall did leave police departments short of vehicles, which obviously affected the officers’ ability to perform their jobs. Unfortunately, it appears that the problem may not have ended with just those GM automobiles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a new probe will determine whether or not a recall will be necessary for more than 195,000 Ford Crown Victoria police cruisers. Initial complaints have suggested that Crown Victoria police cruisers manufactured between 2005 and 2008 may have a production defect that causes the separation of the steering column from the upper intermediate shaft, as reported by the New York Daily News.
There have already been three complaints about that issue, as well as another ten complaints that the shaft had been shifting away from the steering column. The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation has stated that the three reports of separation all occurred while the vehicles were operating at low speeds. The drivers who filed the reports claimed that the vehicles became more difficult to drive. Fortunately, no accidents have been reported.
Before the NHTSA can determine whether or not a recall is necessary, though, it must first conduct a complete investigation. According to the ODI, this consists of the following steps:
Screening — A preliminary review of consumer complaints and other information related to alleged defects to decide whether to open an investigation;
Petition Analysis — An analysis of any petitions calling for defect investigations and/or reviews of safety-related recalls;
Investigation — The investigation of alleged safety defects; and
Recall Management — Investigation of the effectiveness of safety recalls.
In the meantime, drivers who experience issues with a Crown Victoria can contact the NHTSA at (800) 424-9153.