A report in The New York Times, citing a lawyer involved in a civil lawsuit against Ford, suggests that the ‘Ford Mustang repeatedly failed the Ford Motor Company’s internal crash tests for fuel tank integrity while it was being redesigned in the early 1990s’.

However, the report adds that the production version later passed government tests including a 1996 test conducted by the NHTSA.

The report points out that the Mustang is one of the last Fords to have its fuel tank positioned near the back bumper. Since problems with the Ford Pinto’s fuel system in the 1970s, auto fuel tanks have migrated further forward, under the passenger compartment.

The lawyer cited as the source for the Mustang test fails was speaking at a news conference hosted by the website blueovalnews.com.

Information published on the blueovalnews.com website states that ‘the SN95 Ford Mustang convertible’s doors jamb shut after a 35 mph rear collision and … the Mustang cannot pass Ford’s safety segment guideline for fuel system integrity after a 50 mph rear collision’.

The website adds: ‘We’ll publish test reports, supporting documents, depositions, highly confidential documents and a list of victims to support our allegations that Ford is wholly aware of the design flaws inherent in the Ford Mustang.’