DETROIT -

Government safety regulators are investigating Ford's Crown Victoria police cars due to complaints about defective steering columns.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe affects about 195,000 cars from the 2005 through 2008 model years.

The government has gotten three complaints that part of the steering column can separate and cause loss of steering control. No crashes or injuries were reported.

Investigators will determine if the cars have a safety defect and whether a recall is needed. So far the vehicles haven't been recalled.

The Crown Victoria has been the police car of choice in the U.S. for 15 years before Ford Motor Co. stopped making it at the end of 2011. It controlled 70 percent of the police car market and averaged sales of 50,000 annually.