Any Car or Vehicle with a Rear Mounted Gas Tank behind the Rear Axle and Below the Rear Bumper Exposes Occupants to Extraordinary Risks
Most vehicles on the road today are designed with gas tanks over the rear axle. Unfortunately, there are still many cars on the road that have the gas tank positioned behind the rear axle and below the rear bumper, therefore exposing occupants to an extraordinary risk of fire and explosion in a rear impact collision.
Many Ford vehicles were built with a “panther platform”. The Ford Motor Company has known for a long time that a number of police officers operating Crown Victoria police cars and operators of Ford Lincoln Towncars were sustaining serious burn injuries or being burned alive in these vehicles when the vehicle burst into flames in rear impact collisions.
Many Crown Victoria’s and Lincoln Continental’s manufactured by the Ford Motor Company were designed with the fuel tank located in a crush zone between the rear axle and the rear bumper.
A behind the axle fuel tank has a proportionally higher rate of rear impact fatalities from fuel fed fires than the risk incurred in other full sized vehicles where the tank is moved in front of the axle or in an otherwise protected area or shielded. From 1965 to 1972, Ford documented 428 rear impact collisions involving fuel fed fires in its vehicles using fuel tanks located behind the rear axle in which occupants suffered burn injuries or death involving a total of 394 deaths and 368 burn injuries. In at least three lawsuits, jury verdicts later affirmed on appeal revealed that Ford Motor Company acted with gross negligence in locating fuel tanks behind the rear axle without taking other needed precautions such as providing shields, bladders, or other devices needed to protect against fuel leakage.