20 March 2011
Dodge Charger expenses overshadow fading Crown Victorias

BY CHASE PURDY
The News Virginian

Cruising down Waynesboro streets, the fleet of Dodge Charger police cruisers look like asphalt bullies — but maybe they’re not so tough.

Humming behind those frowning headlamps and under the hoods are engines in almost constant need of attention, and which have driven up maintenance costs, according to maintenance records, officers and city mechanics.

...

“Our Dodge Chargers are a maintenance nightmare,” said Waynesboro police Cpl. Jim Short, former fleet manager. “If I had a choice, I’d keep the Crown Victoria. The Crown Vic is a proven car.”

A News Virginian investigation found the Chargers break down more often and cost the city more money to repair than Crown Vics that are older and which have logged more miles. Charger repairs contribute to maintenance expenses that outpaced anticipated costs in each of the past five years, records show.

The cars roll into the city garage on Essex Avenue so often, that mechanics there said it’s become a joke that they’re so adept with the Charger they should seek dealership jobs.


Read the story at The News Virginian.

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