The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the upper intermediate shaft in the Ford Crown Victoria’s steering system that may separate. This issue may affect as many as 195,000 2005-2008 models. The majority of these vehicles are in use in police fleets, having a virtual monopoly on the police car market from 1996 to 2006.
The shaft separation could result in a loss of control. The agency has received three reports of actual loss of vehicle control, and 10 reports of imminent separation based on inspection of fleets. The Crown Victoria and the CV-based Police Interceptor went out of production in September 2011, with the St. Thomas assembly plant in Talbotville, Ontario, closing with the last Crown Victoria off the line.
The Ford Police Interceptor lives on in the form of the front-wheel-drive Taurus-based model, as well as an Explorer-based Interceptor Utility model. Although outwardly similar to their civilian counterparts, Ford claims both models have been extensively re-engineered for the rigors of law-enforcement duty. Unlike the Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Caprice police models that offer optional V-8 power, the Ford Interceptor models are both exclusively V-6 powered, although the Interceptor sedan offers an optional EcoBoost V-6 offering comparable power output to its V-8 rivals.