Ford Authority

Ford Police Interceptor Utility Lemon Law Claim Ongoing

In recent years, the Ford Police Interceptor Utility has faced its fair share of trials and tribulations – mostly related to exhaust leak lawsuits – but the Explorer-based model has also been a popular entity among law enforcement agencies. However, West Chester Township police faced a bit of a different problem with one of their Ford Police Interceptor Utility crossovers back in 2021 when it suddenly burst into flames, right after its very first 12-hour shift. Since then, the town’s insurance provider has been mired in a legal battle with The Blue Oval, as it’s working to get reimbursed via the state’s lemon law, according to the Journal-News.

The township and the Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority (OTARMA) both teamed up to file a lawsuit against Ford and the Lebanon-based dealership that it purchase the vehicle from back in February, seeking $48,353 for reimbursement for the Police Interceptor Utility, along with punitive and other types of damages. However, two weeks ago, OTARMA amended their claim, adding the lemon law stipulation and two additional defendants that equipped the vehicle with police gear.

On the flip side, Ford claims that it isn’t at fault in this particular case, and also entered a motion seeking to dismiss the lemon law claim, noting that a police vehicle doesn’t fall under the definition of a motor vehicle as this particular law is written.

“The subject vehicle is not a motor vehicle under Ohio law and plaintiffs cannot asset a lemon law claim for alleged defects in the subject vehicle,” the motion reads. “Ohio courts have held that a manufacturer of a vehicle must be afforded ample opportunity to repair the vehicle for a plaintiff to recover under the lemon law,” it added, noting that the automaker wasn’t informed of the fire until three months after the vehicle was totaled.

We’ll have more on this and all pending and active Ford lawsuits soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford lawsuit news, and continuous 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. Gary . Virginia.

    Ford keeps it up no police dept will want their vehicles.

  2. ronarb

    Would like to know what aftermarket modifications were made to the Police Vehicle that may have been a contributor to the issue(s).

  3. wjtinfwb

    Hmmm… since I’ve not heard of many civilian Explorers spontaneously bursting into flames, I’d have to assume that the miles of additional wiring and electrical devices installed after the vehicle left the Ford Assembly plant. It shouldn’t take too much forensic investigation to determine the root issue. That said, the guy with the deepest pockets always catches the majority of the blame, I’d think Ford would want to either settle or aggressively and publicly defend their position.

  4. Randy

    If you would have to see to believe the crappy job some of these installs do. We had a Chrysler K car back in the day that developed a fuel leak, had to drop the fuel tank for repairs. After removing the fuel tank straps and all connecting wiring and fuel lines I dropped the jack supporting the tank. Fuel tank does not move, figured tank stuck to anti-rattle tape on the top side. Nope, tank is VERY secure. Popped the trunk and there is the 2-way radio, screwed to the floor of the trunk, yup, 6 nice long self drilling sheet metal screws thru the floor of the trunk and on into the fuel tank. Lucky they didn’t start a fire on installation. Wasn’t the last time I found screws run into a fuel tank. Another common one was screws mounting misc pieces and the screws were run thru wiring harness. To lazy to check what was on the other side of the sheet metal. Undersized wiring, not fused, incorrect grounding, bad crimp connections.

  5. backtheblue

    Sounds like the install my agency got from a rural upfitter in MN, absolute crap. Don’t go low bid!


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