October 2, 2014

Elyria
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Car dealer offers to pick up part of the cost for new cruiser paint jobs

ELYRIA — Nick Abraham Ford has offered to pay part of the cost to repaint 18 Elyria Police Department cruisers that have been shedding paint at an alarming rate.

Peeling paint is shown on an Elyria police cruiser in early July.

Peeling paint is shown on an Elyria police cruiser in early July.

Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely said he thought the 2005 and 2006 Ford Crown Victorias had been losing paint because of a manufacturer’s defect.

He said police noticed the problem almost a year ago, in November. Whitely said the issue wasn’t simply about aesthetics. The paint helps prevent the bodies of the cars from deteriorating.

“Some of them have already started rusting,” he said.

Chris Eichenlaub, safety service director, said Ford’s four-year extended warranty on the vehicles had run out before the issue developed, so the company was not obligated to fix it.

He said the city agreed to pay at least $12,000, and the local dealership would pay the rest of the estimated $31,000 to repaint the cruisers.

Abraham said he puts aside some money every year for customer goodwill and community events.

“We’re part of the community,” Abraham said. “And we like to support the Police Department.”
Whitely said he was pleased with the outcome.

“Our cars are going to get painted, so I’m happy with it,” he said.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at 329-7123 or kfischer@chroniclet.com.