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Lawsuit in S. Illinois Will Focus on Ford Police Cruisers

By AP/KWMU

Centreville, Ill. – A lawsuit against Ford Motor Company is scheduled to get underway this week in the southern Illinois town of Centreville.

St. Clair County and the City of Centerville filed the lawsuit in which they claim Ford was negligent in designing the Crown Victoria Police Cruiser.

Since 1983, at least 18 police officers have died after their cars were hit from behind and the gas tanks burst into flames.

The Crown Victoria is the most popular police car on the road. But critics allege the Crown Victoria's fuel tank wraps around the rear axle in a crash, making it prone to puncture.

The lawsuit in Centreville asks that Ford be required to compensate law enforcement agencies for the cost of retrofitting or repairing police cars to an adequate level of safety and punitive damages.

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