Ford is having a particularly bad day this month, if you will. The Ford Edge is being recalled for its fuel system, and the Crown Victoria police car is undergoing an investigation by the government for defective steering.
First, the recall. About 5,500 Edge models from the 2012 model year suffer from a defective fuel system, as a crack in a fuel housing could leak, sparking a fire and inevitable memories of the old Pinto. This affects only the Edges equipped with 2.0-liter Ecoboost engines.
Ford will repair all Edges at the dealership beginning on September 24th. As always, owners can call Ford at 1-866-436-7332 and cite the recall campaign number, which is 12S40.
Moving on: however bad a fuel leak could be, it pales in comparison with a sweeping investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The police models of the Crown Victoria could, as the 13 complaints state, have a defective steering column that could separate and cause the car to lose control.
The NHTSA cited three cases where the steering column separated from the vehicle itself—all of which happened at low speeds, and fortunately nobody was injured. One of these complaints stated that there was literally no connection to the front wheels. Ten more complaints claimed that after police departments investigated their own cars, they found that the columns themselves were on the verge of separation.
All the cars involved were built from 2005 through 2008, before the Crown Victoria went gently into that good night last year. The NHTSA has a lot to go through: at its heyday, Ford was cranking out 50,000 Crown Victorias per year, and this investigation involves 195,000 vehicles itself. While they won’t personally inspect every one of their cars, a Herculean task if anything, police departments are going over their own cars with a fine-tooth comb.
As the supply of Crown Victorias begins to dry up, expect to see the ubiquitous cruisers replaced with the new Ford Taurus Police Interceptor, the return of the Chevrolet Caprice, and the new standard for police cars, the Dodge Charger.