Treat guns like cop cars.


February 15, 2005, 03:57 PM
I found this to be an interesting article. I think the gun industry should watch this one very closely. Wanna sue us over guns, you aren't going to get any. :)


Police give up suit so they can buy Crown Victorias
By Mick Zawislak Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2005
In Libertyville, as in most other local departments, the Ford Crown Victoria is the choice for police cruisers.

Getting them has become an issue, however, because of an ongoing court action. To get new cars delivered on time, nearly a dozen area communities will opt out of a lawsuit brought three years ago in downstate St. Clair County.

"Much to our chagrin, we find Ford will not allow us to order police vehicles as long as we're part of this class action suit," said Libertyville Police Chief Pat Carey.

The suit was brought in 2002 by the St. Clair County sheriff's office and nearby Centreville Police Department, alleging Ford committed fraud by failing to disclose alleged problems with the car to law enforcement agencies.

More than a dozen officers nationwide since 1983 were killed in fiery crashes after their Crown Victorias were rear-ended. No fatalities have been reported in Illinois.

A jury last fall ruled the cars are safe but a judge still has to decide whether Ford violated Illinois consumer fraud laws. Plaintiffs have argued for a new trial and an appeal is possible.

The continuing court action has left many communities with a decision.

Libertyville wants to replace six squad cars - half the marked police cars in town - but faces an order deadline. Ford won't sell police vehicles to government units involved in the action.

"This is not the kind of thing we've ever run into before," Carey said.

The Libertyville village board agreed last week to opt out. Vernon Hills will consider the action tonight. The two towns have or will be joined by 10 other communities, including Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove and Barrington, that will opt out in unison.

Communities will be represented by Iain Johnston of the Chicago law firm Holland & Knight LLC.

Johnston said at least a couple hundred communities were included in the class action. A notice allowing communities to opt out was sent in late 2003. Ford subsequently decided not to sell cars to remaining parties, he said.

"All these departments needed cars," he said. "That caused a huge problem."

Johnston said he will file an opt-out motion on behalf of the communities to be heard April 14 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Mundelein has avoided any problems by opting out of the suit in November 2003.

"This has taken on a life of its own across the country," said police Chief Ray Rose. "It didn't make any sense to get all caught up in this."

Local departments say they have been aware of the alleged defect for years, Carey said. Libertyville's fleet mechanics have made modifications to older vehicles as recommended and there are no "operational limitations" with the cars, Carey said.

Vernon Hills plans to replace seven Crown Victorias by mid-2006.

"There aren't that many cars out there that fit our needs without going to an SUV," said Deputy Chief Bill Price.

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Henry Bowman
February 15, 2005, 04:06 PM
Works for Ford, especially because GM quit making the Caprice. It would work if several gun mfrs stuck together on it. But they won't. Even if they did, the "civilian" sales are not nearly a voluminous as with cars.

Jeff White
February 15, 2005, 05:07 PM
The Crown Vic is the only traditional police car made. Chevy has a police package for the Impala and it doesn't make a bad squad car, but it's not a full size car. I arrested 3 people one night and literally couldn't get all three in the back of the Impala behind the cage. I had to call a sheriffs deputy to assist with transport. A midsize car is just not suitable for use as a patrol car in the minds of a lot of people. With Chrysler dropping out of the market years ago, and Chevrolet dropping out 2 or 3 three years ago, Ford has the market to themselves. The only alternates are SUV type vehicles and they are very expensive to operate.

There isn't any firearms manufacturer that has that kind of clout in the police market. It isn't the private market that keeps new pistols coming out of the factory, it's the government market. Weapons sold to police departments will be replaced every few years. A pistol sold to a private citizen will probably last him a lifetime.

If all the manufacturers joined together and refused to sell weapons to government agencies that sued them, it might work. But there are too many alternatives. If Glock wouldn't sell, Smith and Wesson or Ruger would.


February 15, 2005, 05:08 PM
The cops in my city just got started driving Chevy Impalas instead of the Crown Vics they had before. I don't know why but it would make sense that it might be related to this lawsuit.

February 15, 2005, 05:14 PM
One town nearby has gone to Intrepids. Haven't had a chance to talk with anyone about how they like 'em, though.

February 15, 2005, 05:28 PM
Ford might not have a lock on the market for much longer, Dodge is going to be offering a Police Package on their Magnum in the last half of 2005.


Jeff White
February 15, 2005, 05:38 PM
It's most likely related to price. The Impalas are about 3K cheaper then Crown Vics. Being midsized cars they are also cheaper to operate. Very important features to the beancounters.


February 15, 2005, 06:03 PM
I like the look of the crown vic as long as it’s not in my rear view mirror. A dodge magnum squad car, you could haul a bunch of BG’s around with that and look :cool: in the process.

Standing Wolf
February 15, 2005, 06:18 PM
It would work if several gun mfrs stuck together on it. But they won't.

United we stand; divided we fall.

February 15, 2005, 07:23 PM
"I arrested 3 people one night and literally couldn't get all three in the back of the Impala behind the cage."

Don't Impalas have a trunk?

February 15, 2005, 07:41 PM
"This is not the kind of thing we've ever run into before," Carey said.

You mean having to deal with the consequences of your actions?

This is about the only statement coming from a cop I would believe.

February 15, 2005, 07:55 PM
I'm in the same boat. I'm getting a new Impala POS in April. I had a new one in 2001. We keep our units for 3 years. We had to get rid of it in 2. Even thought the price is cheaper per unit our department spent more in maintenance. Arkansas' attorney general has filed suit against Ford so the only way they will sale to an agency in Arkansas is if the agency signs a waiver not to particiapate and/or file suit against Ford. The trunks of the Impalas are also small and after filling it with tac gear you could'nt stuff much else in.

Chrysler discontinued the Intrepid and I'm not too keen on a station wagon. Can you say 2 cages. I had very poor luck with my first Impala. On a hot call all you saw were the Ford's tail lights. :mad: The big old sled Crowns would also have enough ponies to power out of a turn, leaving you further behind. The light rearend would not stay put. That's in addition to injectors, catalytic converters, and brakes not being up to deputy grade.

February 15, 2005, 08:13 PM
Jeff, you owe me a new keyboard. :)

TinCup, you owe me a new monitor. :D

Back on the subject, what about Monte Carlos?

February 15, 2005, 08:55 PM
Monte Carlos only have 2 doors. I can't see a cage working with one. Maybe departments should start using domestically produced foreign makes like Hondas and Toyotas. The new Accord hybrid would blow the doors off of the crown vic and the impala and gets over 30mpg.

if only the gun manufacturers could/would do this.

Declaration Day
February 15, 2005, 09:05 PM
Chrysler discontinued the Intrepid and I'm not too keen on a station wagon.

If the Magnum, which is a wagon, wouldn't make a suitable cop car, what about the Charger?

Zach S
February 15, 2005, 09:14 PM
I dont think Monte Carlos are available in 4-door. And they're still small cars compared to Vics.

I dont think Magnums would make very good service cars, I dont know how often it happens, but I've seen several cars have to go over curbs and medians in route or pursuit, magnums dont have the ground clearance. Thats one complaint a buddy has about his patrol car (a Z28). The Vics cant compete on the highway, but at one curb they leave his car in the dust.

More than a dozen officers nationwide since 1983 were killed in fiery crashes after their Crown Victorias were rear-ended. No fatalities have been reported in Illinois.
12+ officers, nationwide, in 22 years? How many have shot themselves while cleaning their duty pistols?

February 16, 2005, 08:20 AM
IIRC those officers died after 60+mph rear end collisions as well.

What happens to the unibody impala in the same impact?

Henry Bowman
February 16, 2005, 09:42 AM
United we stand; divided we fall. Standing wolf: You are correct, but can you say "antitrust"?

February 16, 2005, 11:28 AM
The '96 (last year they made them) and earlier Caprice Classics (aka Shamu) were awesome police cars, and would run away from a Crown Vic in a pursuit. My first LE car was a '95 Shamu, and at 142 it felt like you were driving a waterbed. Get a Crown Vic up over about 100 and the front end starts to shake like a Huey helicopter :). Several companies make a good living refurbishing and rebuilding Shamus for police use.

Just my .02,

George S.
February 16, 2005, 11:45 AM
This link is to the '05 Crown Vic Police Interceptor:

I find it interesting that Ford will be including a "Automatic Fire Suppression System with manual override (late availability)" in the CVPI. I wonder if this is their "solution" to the problem instead of redesigning the fuel tank or protecting it. We all remember the Pinto and the problems it had with fire and rear-end collisions :eek:

It's pretty amazing to me that the only motor offered is the 4.6L 250HP engine. The optional 3.55 gears do help the car but assuming a weight of close to 4500 lbs, this car should be a slug.

For you LEO's that drive a late-model CVPI, do you think the car really has "performance" qualities?? I know that you can't outrun Motorola :D but just how much emphasis is placed on vehicle performance in terms of power output and the ability to get moving fast??

Ukraine Train
February 16, 2005, 11:47 AM
I drive a '95 9C1 "Shamu", it's great. I was really surprised how quick it is for a two ton+ car. What's sad is GM is still making full size sedans with LS1 engines in the middle east and Australia. I've heard rumors, though, that there will be another full size RWD car here eventually.

February 16, 2005, 11:53 AM
If memory serves me right, and sometimes it does :), the RWD GM cars (Caprice, Buick Roadmaster, Cadillac Fleetwood, etc) were made in Arlington, Texas, were they now make the Tahoes and Suburbans.

Just my .02,

February 16, 2005, 01:09 PM
magnums dont have the ground clearance.Easy fix.

February 16, 2005, 01:20 PM
Lots of departments in SC have started going with the Dodge Intrepids because they are so much cheaper than the Vics. I have no idea about what sort of police package they have in them though.

February 16, 2005, 02:32 PM
The last I heard, the major companies made ~75% of their profit from civilian sales....

Since Ford won't sell the Crown Vics, and the Chevy seems to be less reliable, I think a viable alternative would be a more economical, and reliable alternative: The Toyota Tercel. You'll be driving those things until retirement thanks to Toyota's legendary reliability, and you can get 2 for the price of a single CV, putting "more cops on the street".

pete f
February 16, 2005, 02:41 PM
First of all. 250 hp engines in a 4300# car is reason kids in toyota camrys's out run cops.

second. Same as barrett saying you try to screw us we will not fix your 50 BMG's Ford makes a bladder contained fuel cell for the Crown Vic, but bean counters will not buy it. Hence the reason Ford feels like it can say stuff you to those involved in the police suit.

Fords new Five hundred AWD is being pitched as a new model police car.
I saw one being "demo'd" that had a big V8 sound and very very thin aerodynamic conforming roof light bars, with the AWD this seems to be a good package.

I just saw a blurb in a car magaazine sighting chrysler-benz putting together a cop car on the 300 platform, hemi and all,

Our city bought Impalas but are changing back after hideous lifespans and QC on drivetrains.

February 16, 2005, 02:50 PM
I think it would be pretty cool to have the Chrysler 300 police cars. They're big enough and with the Hemi, they've got plenty of juice. They woould also look bad ass IMHO.

February 16, 2005, 03:05 PM
I rented an Intrepid once when someone t-boned my Cressida... that thing SUCKED. It's like a fat, slow, even more plasticy Neon.


brian roberts
February 16, 2005, 03:40 PM
the intrepid has a BIG(can't get letters BIG enough)problem; w/the intrep, somewhere between 4-6 panic stops, the brakes burst into flame!!! you got it!!! and, best of all, chrysler KNOWS it. :eek: also, these cars get maybe 7,000 miles to a set of front pads, AND, you can't keep the front end aligned. some here in Md. have 700 miles on them & no alignment. one dept. found they could put Michelins on, & the F.E. would align, but its an ongoing work in progress, in Braille mode. plus, rotor distortion is so bad, that after a short while, if you're trying to stop fast & the steering wheel is straight, the s/w gets a violent shudder in it, but if you then turn the wheel a hair left or right, it'll cease!! plus, the F.E. is too light for what its asked to do. i mean Cord, Duesenburg, & i believe Auburn, tried the FW drive thing in the 30s, & scrapped the idea, only to have it resurrected by the automakers, w/all kinds of propaganda that the bean-counters fall for. police depts. have been fighting bean-counters for YEARS trying to get them to buy something that'll last for awhile longer than when the sweet taste of price has dissipated. the crown vic also has its probs; in police work, particularly training, the rear end overheats, melts the seals, destroys the axles because the lube escapes. some depts. have found a solution: cryogenically processed rear axles & improved lubricants. they've also found cryo-processed rotors & pads will give them approximately 3 times the life expectancy as stock braking components. problem is, there are charlatans out there who are joyfully ***king :fire: the public, so the process, even when performed by honest processors, is getting tarred w/the same brush. to make it all so much better, now NIIHTSA(i believe that's their acronym) has found that when the car gets something like 93,000 miles, its no longer suitable for police work. but we COULDN'T POSSIBLY make something good, hell no, that won't fund my "golden parachute", will it???? :cool:

W Turner
February 16, 2005, 04:15 PM
Seems that if Dodge is willing to put in the R&D to make a semi-passable attempt at re-entering the LE car market, that would at least make Ford sit up and take notice and maybe get out of the stone age in terms of developing the CV line.

The future is AWD, 250HP V6's/300+HP V8's and better braking and handling performance. Ford has been able to rest on it's laurels due to no competition. Maybe at least the LE market will get the support it deserves from the car manufacturers.

BTW- That patrol Magnum is bada$$.


February 16, 2005, 05:25 PM
The Dodge Magnum police concept in the article (on the first page) has a few glaring problems. The first one I noticed is the 18" wheels and tires. First, an 18" steel wheel WILL bend the first time you take it over a curb. There simply isn't enough tire to take the shock of running over a curb. Alloy wheels would help, but the real solution is to use a smaller wheel and cut costs considerably that way. Big, speed rated tires are expensive. Smaller ones are cheaper and more widely available.

The next thing that caught me by surprise was the mention of a full size spare tire. That takes up a lot of room in a car where space is at a premium. I'd ditch the spare altogether IF I were in a large dept. Smaller depts may want to keep it.

I don't like the idea of front wheel drive police vehicles simply because a good hit to the front end causes MAJOR problems. You could very well lose your drive power from an impact. AWD is an added cost that can be avoided with better driving instruction.

GM, bring the Commodore to the states.
Ford, The Crown Vic ain't bad. Freshen it up a bit, but it is good.
DaimlerChrysler, revamp that Magnum for police use and you've got a winner. The HEMI sounds nice, but the 4.7l Jeep V8 would be fine...and less expensive. It has been known to push Grand Cherokees to low 15 sec 1/4 mile times.

Art Eatman
February 16, 2005, 08:43 PM
A Tercel for a cop car? I can see it now: A hooking device for the handcuffs, on the rear deck, with the BadGuys on skateboards...


Sorry; couldn't help myself.


Zach S
February 16, 2005, 09:06 PM
It's pretty amazing to me that the only motor offered is the 4.6L 250HP engine. The optional 3.55 gears do help the car but assuming a weight of close to 4500 lbs, this car should be a slug. Ironicly the Caprice weighed about the same as the Vic and only had ten more hp with the LT1 (50 LESS with the 4.3 - what a pig). I'm sure the LT1 made more bottom end torque, which makes a big difference in such a heavy car.

Personally I think the Vic needs about 6 pounds of boost. Theres a blower in the FMS catalogue that should do well on the Vics...

brian roberts
February 17, 2005, 02:13 PM
97GT; one of the problems PDs are facing NOW w/the "smaller tires & wheels" concept is: there isn't enough stopping power when needed & severe rotor distortion as a result of trying to make a smaller wheel & rotor do the job of larger ones is a recurrent problem, the smaller rotors don't cool as quickly which accelerates the onset of distortion. where this concept is also of considerable concern is in the adult daycare industry. the bean-counters at the mfgrs., will put smaller rotors & wheels on these vans to boost the mileage by cutting the weight, but, when you get that van loaded w/aged flesh, not EVEN considering the wheel-chair lifts which are an ordinary fitting on many of these vehicles, coupled w/their anemic got some real problems to consider...carefully. i do know of one BMW specialty shop in S. Carolina that, if the car has US spec. wheels & rotors, the manager recommends the larger Euro-spec wheels, rims, rotors & tires(for about $2700) he maintains that the larger rotors, coupled w/cryogenic processing for rotors & pads has eliminated(his words not mine) rotor distortion. :cool:

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