September 18, 2012
According to recent documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), complaints about defective steering columns of Ford-manufactured Crown Victoria police cars have prompted a preliminary investigation into the vehicles.
The documents—posted on the NHTSA website Saturday—revealed that U.S. safety regulators will examine nearly 195,000 Crown Victoria police cars manufactured by Ford Motor for the 2005-2008 model years. The investigation stems from complaints about a possible fault that can result in a loss of steering control.
The NHTSA has received three complaints pertaining to an issue with the upper intermediate shaft that separates from the steering column in the Crown Victoria police interceptor vehicles and 10 complaints about the shaft showing signs of shifting away from the steering column.
In one of the complaints, filed in May 2010, the driver reported that the separation of the steering column left the vehicle without any mechanical link to the front wheels. The complaint said: “The operator was able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop, but they had just begun to accelerate from a traffic light when the shafts separated, and the vehicle’s speed was minimal.”
Meanwhile, with the documents filed with the NHTSA noting there have thus far been no reports of any crash or injury due to the defective steering columns of Crown Victoria police cars, the investigators will chiefly ascertain as to whether the problem underscores a safety defect and necessitates a recall of the affected vehicles.
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