This story has been heard all over the country and unfortunately a Florida Highway Patrol officer is the latest victim of his exploding patrol car.
The widow of Patrick Ambroise, 35, who died when his Ford Crown Victoria patrol car was rear ended and caught fire May 15, has filed a Florida product liability lawsuit against Ford in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. Ambroise’s Crown Victoria was pulled over to the shoulder when it was hit by a Lexus being driven by Jonathan Robert Garcia, of Miramar, and Euclides Garcia, the car’s owner who have both been named in the action.
The lawsuit alleges that Ford sold a vehicle with a defective design that places the gas tank in the rear “crush zone” of the vehicle where it can rupture and explode if hit from behind.
While Ford didn’t comment to the Palm Beach Post on the lawsuit, the Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car, and Grand Marquis all were designed with the gas tank within the crush zone even though it is considered dangerous.
There are estimates up to 5 million of these vehicles with this design defect on the road today, including passenger cars.
In September 2002, CBS News reported that the Ford Motor Company agreed to install safety shields around the rear fuel tanks. Ford acted after pressure from the state of Arizona where three police officers burned to death. Some 350,000 cars were retrofitted at a cost of $50 million. The shields were designed to cover any protruding sharp edge that could puncture the fuel tank in a collision.
An experienced Florida defective auto attorney would want to check if Officer Ambroise’s vehicle ever had a safety shield installed.
If you or a loved one has experienced a fiery collision in one of these Ford vehicles, you would be well-advised to explore your options for compensation with Farah & Farah. Ford has let the public down by not making public information about the availability of the shields and has clearly failed to disclose the dangers of this defective design.