Ford Authority

NY Town Ditching Its Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid Fleet

Mired in numerous high-profile quality issues, Ford Motor Company has taken action in recent months to solve those ongoing headaches, most recently hiring John Dion as its new chief transformation officer, though CEO Jim Farley has said that fixing all of the automaker’s quality woes will take years, not months. In the meantime, FoMoCo recently ranked well below average in the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, while the Ford Explorer made the cut on Consumer Reports10 Most Unreliable Vehicles list. Those same problems are precisely what has prompted the Ulster Police Department in New York to replace its unreliable Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid fleet as well, according to the Daily Freeman.

Ulster Police purchased two Explorer Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid crossovers back in 2019, followed by two more in 2020, all in an effort to reduce the department’s fuel costs. Since then, these vehicles have apparently suffered a number of issues that cover a broad spectrum. “From the beginning, we have seen an increased amount of check engine light issues with the 2021s requiring them to be returned to Romeo Ford for diagnostics with no definitive reason for the codes,” said Police Chief Kyle Berardi.

All four Police Interceptor Utility models have had their transmissions replaced under recalls, while a bolt issue damaged the driveshaft on one of these vehicles while the officer driving it was responding to a call, which led to it being out of service for 54 days. The other three models also wound up having differential bolts replaced due to a recall, too. “The technician recommended we shouldn’t have driven the one (because) it had a recall on the bolt,” Berardi said. “If we would have known there was a recall on the bolt at the time we were driving we would have never done it.”

Thus, the Ulster Police Department has placed an order for two 2023 Dodge Durango Pursuit models to replace the older Police Interceptor Utility crossovers, which are expected to be ready for service in around three months.

We’ll have more on the Explorer soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. crabbymilton

    They couldn’t deliver them as promised then when they finally come in , they are all but complete garbage. I heard bad reports from someone who works for a suburban department here in SE. Wisconsin about how bad they are. Not sure the DURANGO is going to be much better but who knows and what else can these PD’s do? The CROWN VICTORIA was the best but yesterday is long gone.

  2. Richard Jensen

    I’ve heard from many police departments that the Explorer, regardless of powertrain, is absolute garbage. That’s not shocking as anyone with a pulse knows it’s crap but these are not the vehicles that needs to be out of service. Avoid Ford at all costs.

  3. Crabbymilton

    One department around here has a few F150’s with caps on the back. They use them for regular patrol.

  4. Tanker2Banker

    I’ve had five in a row without problems, but am looking at the hybrid for the first time.

    1. Duane

      My wife has a 2013 Fusion Energy and I have a 2022 F150 Powerboost. We really enjoy our hybrids, better mileage and more power. Plus the generator package on my truck is very convenient.

  5. Thurston Munn

    Here in Okla. Most of the Ford fleets, which were dominate, have been replaced by Dodge vehicles and GM vehicles.

  6. Steve

    I’m honestly surprised any of these departments are buying the Explorers for police or any other duty anymore..its must only be on price. Ever since the water pump fiasco from the last generation…to the transmissions, electronics, body hardware, and engine issues for these latest models, the Explorer is a hot pile of garbage that insults the legacy Ford had back in the day with the Crown Vic. You routinely see these Exploders retired well under 5 years of service…because they just aren’t reliable or durable.

    1. Richard Jensen

      It’s not price anymore. Ford removed the government fleet discount so for 2023, the Explorer is $8k-$10k more expensive. But it’s the same junk.

  7. Bill

    Driven a Ford PIU for years and not one problem.

    1. Richard Jensen

      Flatly untrue

  8. Wade

    There’s a city next to mine that had all Fords for years. Started switching to Tahoes and Chargers around 2019, and added a Durango in 21. They just got a new 2022 Explorer over the winter. Wonder what has them going back if the city administrator is a Chevy guy and they’re not cheaper than the Dodges?

  9. Len

    As a long time LEO for 36 years and counting the absolute Best Police Vehicles were the Crown Victoria , Chevy Tahoe. Currently driving a 2022 Police Explorer Hybrid at work. Complete Junk!

  10. bob dobson

    Ford has serious QC issues coming out of the Chicago Assembly Plant (CAP). Ford will never admit it but after the George Floyd incident the CAP employees were intentionally sabotaging Police vehicles. Ford tried their best to QC them 2-3 times before delivery but it was a disaster. Ford is too “woke” to ever admit this publicly but ask any insider if its true. GM for the first time in years has completely sold out their allotment for the 2023 PPV Tahoe because people are shifting brands. Dodge build quality is still the worst in the segment so good luck with those Durango’s.

    1. David Dickinson II

      Interesting point. I’d love to read an investigation into this.

    2. JT

      Would love to see your actual proof of this. I’ve heard others say this but no proof

  11. Mike says...

    Ford has long owned much of the law enforcement vehicle market.
    This fact alone should provide all the motivation needed to build a suitable product for this market segment.
    If not, Ford will lose a very high profile customer.
    Distracted comes to mind as I watch Ford stumble from one quality issue to the next.
    BEV cheerleaders miss the point all together in their zeal to focus on the next ‘newest thing’.
    Ford’s floundering reputation is not the stuff investors will look to in the future, regardless if it is ICE or BEV.
    I hope they can turn this around soon and take up the leadership position they have all but abandoned.

  12. crabbymilton

    So what is FORD doing to fix this long term problem at the Chicago plant? Bottom line is that the customer whether it’s a PD or civilian doesn’t really care where the car was built but rather will it work as prescribed without having to take it in for repairs and recall work all the time. No reason for this to drag on so long and yes FORD is looking rather dysfunctional at this point.

  13. Rstang

    If quality at the Chicago plant is that bad, maybe they should shift production to another plant in another state. ?? I’ve never thought much of anything coming out of Illinois, anyway.

  14. Robert

    Our department has been with with PIU’s since 2015. We bought our last PIU’s in 2021. We have now switched back to Tahoe PPV. The remodel in 2020 was a disaster. Constantly having CV axle boots tear, engines replaced, transmission replaced, and modules going out. The location of the battery is also ridiculous. The technicians in the shop also say the new body style PIU is harder to maintain. They change the oil/filter every 200 hours per Ford, but the Ford dealer would not cover an engine replacement due to having too many idle hours. The unit only had 38k miles. Ford then gave us $4000k credit and the unit was sent else where for the engine. Ford themselves said the engine shouldn’t be denied due to idle hours but we still got screwed.

  15. philip tilley

    It’s a shame, correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Ford use to sell 100,000 Crown Victoria’s a year to Police and Government agencies, if Ford had any sense they would build a Mustang with a boot and wagon for a new Crown Victoria, complete with Coyote engine’s, as the American’s say, there is now substitute for cubic inches, these toy town engines just don’t cut it.

    1. James

      Heck yeah filler up 😅


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