When Paramus, N.J., police officer Vincent Brock skidded out of control on New Jersey's Route 4 in 1993 and died after hitting a pole, it set off a chain reaction that caused jurisdictions in New Jersey, Connecticut and Ontario to pull their cruisers off the street or refuse delivery of new ones.
Bergen County Prosecutor Fahy and U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., called for a recall investigation.
Eight departments filed formal complaints with the NHTSA. Four police deaths were blamed on the failures, and several more cited them as cause for accidents.
The NHTSA recall investigation found the four deaths — including Brock's — were not caused by the steering problems. It decided against a recall because the steering lockups occurred during "extremely aggressive but foreseeable driving maneuvers."
Ultimately, a jury awarded a $1.9 million judgment in 2003 against Ford in favor of Brock's widow. Ford appealed and later settled.