Ford has reacted quickly to yesterday’s formal approach from Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano over Crown Victoria police cruiser safety. Immediately following the meeting, Ford safety vice president Susan M. Cischke announced “a series of immediate actions”.

Napolitano is concerned primarily with the deaths of three Arizona police officers in fires after high-speed rear-end collisions so Ford is forming a technical task force, including outside experts from the military, racing and aviation industry, to begin immediate testing of police-spec Crown Vics with fuel tank bladders, shielding and trunk packs to improve crashworthiness.

The first phase of testing should be completed within 30 to 90 days and the task force also will consider materials science and general fire prevention.

Ford and the state of Arizona will also form a panel to look at the general use of police cars and have undertaken to improve communications between police forces and the vehicle maker.

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