There's another problem with the Crown Vics: they use an antiquated fuel system design which blows up in accidents.
On October 23, 2002, Dallas, Texas Police officer Patrick Metzler, age 31, was in his Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser when it was involved in a rear-end collision. Investigation later revealed that the gas tank, which is located behind the rear axle in the Crown Victoria, was punctured in four places by the vehicle’s frame. Metzler died from burns over 98 percent of his body. He had no broken bones, so death was not caused by trauma, and probably would have walked away from this accident if it had not been for fire.
Ford had announced on September 27, 2002 that it would put shields around gas tanks on 350,000 police vehicles across the nation. By the time of Metzler's death nearly a month later, the City of Dallas had not yet received its shields. After the accident, however, Ford began rushing the upgrade kits to Dallas.
Nationwide, at least 12 police officers have died and nine others seriously injured in post-crash fires in Ford police cars. In each of the cases where an officer died, the officers would have survived except for the fires. The first such death occurred in 1983. At least 26 civilian deaths and six injuries have also been linked to fuel-fed fires in Crown Victorias and other models of Ford’s “Panther” line – Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car.
Rear-end collision fire deaths in Ford’s "Panther" line police cruisers is 140 percent higher than for a competitive General Motors line and about double the rate for Ford’s Escort line.
Several class-action lawsuits from across the country were recently centralized in a federal court in Cleveland. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the police Interceptors in November, 2002. Some state attorneys general, including Louisiana attorney general Richard Ieyoub, have called for a moratorium on municipal purchases of Crown Victoria police interceptors pending guarantees from Ford that it will not burst into flames when struck from the rear.