In a class-action lawsuit filed over the safety of Ford’s Crown Victoria police cruisers, an Illinois jury ruled that the cars are safe. A judge will now decide if Ford violated state consumer fraud laws.
While no police officers have died in Illinois as a result of fiery car crashes in Crown Vics, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office and Centreville Police Department sued Ford in 2002, accusing the company of fraud and deceptive trade practices for not disclosing the issues surrounding fatal car crashes in other states. The agencies wanted the automaker to retrofit their cruisers with safety equipment to prevent injury in the event of rear-end collisions.
“It’s a terrible thing that someone has to die, but their cars are no more dangerous than other Crown Victorias on the road now,” juror Judy Burgess told the Belleville News-Democrat.
Judge Lloyd Cueto will now decide whether Ford engaged in deceptive trade practices, violated Illinois consumer fraud laws, and unjustly enriched the company by fraud.
“To have 12 folks unanimously agree that the Number One police vehicle in the U.S. is safe is very important and significant to Ford,” said Ford attorney Jim Feeney.