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An Illinois judge has ordered Ford Motor Co. to conduct a crash test on plastic trunk packs that were offered in Crown Victoria police cars to protect gas tanks from rupturing in high-impact rear crashes.

Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto, who sits in St. Clair County, Ill., also said Ford was deceptive in a company brochure that denounced trunk pack tests Dallas officials conducted last July.

In a ruling last Thursday, Cueto ordered Ford to conduct a 75-m.p.h. crash test on a trunk pack by May 15. The decision stemmed from a suit filed by St. Clair County and the City of Centerville, Ill., in which they claim Ford was negligent in designing the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.

In a statement, Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes said the automaker was confused by the judge's testing requirement because the company did 75-m.p.h. tests in November with 200 pounds of police equipment in a trunk pack. The pack is a heavy plastic liner for storing equipment.

"The trunk pack prevented punctures of the police equipment," the Ford statement said.

Dallas crash-tested two Crown Victorias with trunk packs at 75 m.p.h. last summer. In one test, the car's gas tank was punctured. In the second, it burst open, resulting in an 18-inch split.

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city of dallas installed glass sheilds for gas tank , that when broken release a foam/dust substance that prevents flames from coming in contact with gas tank area from a collision. all that at their own expense, and expect ford to flip the bill, but they refuse stating that it questions the effectiveness of the shields, and they they are installing their own on 05 models. (thats i got i got from acticle i read in www.thecarconnection.com).

would paying the bill admit they had a defect the car owners fixed themselves?
 
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