Ford Motor Co. will recall 109,664 Crown Victoria police cars because of cracks that can develop in the police cruiser wheels causing rapid air loss during high-speed pursuits.
The cracks have been reported in a small percentage of the steel wheels on 2003 to 2005 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors. The wheels were covered by a Ford extended warranty program, according to a company executive.
Ford notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the problem stating that the cracks can form near the weld line that connects the rim to the wheel disk.
Ford dealers will inspect and replace the wheels and the spare as needed.
The Crown Victoria Police Interceptors involved in the recall were built from October 10, 2001, through December 8, 2004.
Police departments should call Ford at 800-392-3673 or contact their local dealers to see if the recall applies to their cars.
This is the second Ford recall involving wheels on the Police Interceptor. In August 2003, Ford recalled wheels on the cars and extended the wheel warranties.
Police departments have reported two crashes which they attributed to the wheel problem, according to a Ford spokesman but the automaker is disputing the reports. No one was injured in the either crash
The Crown Victoria is a favorite of many police departments even after the Police Interceptor was the subject of a 2003 debate over whether its rear gas tank was vulnerable to rupture in accidents.
Several police department officials charged officers needlessly died in fires following a crash in the cruiser because of a design flaw in the vehicle fuel system. Ford agreed to offer shields for gas tanks on police cruisers.