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Mont. County pulls nearly a third of its police cruisers

Wednesday - 9/12/2012, 11:27am  ET

WASHINGTON - Montgomery County police have pulled a third of their police cruisers off the road after the steering failed on two of their Ford Crown Victorias.

Lt. Darren Francke says the first incident happened in July, the second more recently.

"The steering wheel just began to spin," he says of the first incident. That officer was able to brake and get the car to the side of the road.

The vehicles will be inspected and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrated has been notified.

"We're providing all the information we can to them so they can do their investigation and determine if a recall needs to be made," Francke says.

Police initially thought it was an isolated incident, but within the past two weeks a second failure occurred.

After five more cars were found to be on the verge of failure, all 324 Crown Victorias, one-third of their cruiser fleet, were pulled.

"If this steering failed while they were on a priority call, it could have been a catastrophic event," Francke says.

He says removing the cruisers won't affect police coverage in the county, as the remaining two-thirds of the police fleet are Dodge Chargers or Chevrolets.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)