The fuel tank design and structural characteristics of the 1975—1976 Mercury Bobcat which render it identical to contemporary Pinto vehicles, also render it subject to like consequences in rear impact collisions. Similarly, publics accepted claims of safety errors leveled by Harley Copp, a Ford engineer who was apparently overseas when early crucial decisions were made Camps 1997; Strobel 1980 , but ignored other safety-conscious Pinto engineers who believed windshield retention was a more important safety problem Camps 1997 , and lack of safety glass caused more deaths Feaheny 1997. Decisions which threatened the schedule were discouraged. The car was struck from behind by a vehicle initially traveling at 50 mph and impacted at an estimated between 30 and 50 mph resulting in a fuel tank fire. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Their manufacturers successfully defended them as acceptable risks see Wallace 1978.
With the advent of emission control requirements, Ford moved from the European sourced to domestically sourced engines, using new or modified designs. The 2,000 cc engine used a two barrel carburetor where just one bore was bigger than that used on the Maverick. He criticized Ford for how it dealt with the controversy surrounding the Pinto. Only when considering the narrow subset of rear-impact, fire fatalities is the car somewhat worse than the average for subcompact cars. The hatch itself featured exposed chrome hinges for the liftgate and five decorative chrome strips, pneumatic struts to assist in opening the hatch, a rear window approximately as large as the sedan's, and a fold down seat — a feature which became simultaneously an option on the sedan. Two years later the court of appeal affirmed these results in all respects; the state supreme court then denied a hearing.
Product development Initial planning for the Pinto began in the summer of 1967; was recommended by Ford's Product Planning Committee in December, 1968; and approved by Ford's Board of Directors in January, 1969. Decisions which threatened the schedule were discouraged. Schwartz, in a article see Section 7. A grand jury indicted Ford on three counts of reckless homicide. Based upon the tests performed for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and by the tremendous publicity generated over the problem, Ford agreed to recall all 1971 through 1976 Ford Pintos and 1975-76 Mercury Bobcat sedan and hatchback models for modifications to the fuel tank. This car is equipped with floor-mounted 4-speed manual transmission. Still, there were no federal performance standards at the time and the proposed regulations addressed only front-end collisions.
On February 24, 1972, the Pinto station wagon debuted with an overall length of 172. Legal cases Approximately 117 lawsuits were brought against Ford in connection with rear-end accidents in the Pinto. In 1977, the Pinto was subject to the largest up to that time. I had a 77 Bobcat villager. American automakers would soon introduce their own subcompacts. The first federal standard for automotive fuel system safety, passed in 1967, known as Section 301 in the , initially only considered front impacts. According to material presented on the Center's website, Dowie's article is based on that information, made available to him by the Center www.
You can , of course. Some felt that cars would rarely be subjected to the extreme forces generated in a fixed-barrier test in real-world collisions Feaheny 1997; Devine 1996. Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach. When a decision was made to produce the Pinto, it was given the shortest production planning schedule in history. Initially, the only bodystyle available was a trunked fastback sedan.
In April, 1974, the Center for Auto Safety petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall Ford Pintos due to defects in the design of the strap on gas tank which made it susceptible to leakage and fire in low to moderate speed collisions. With 544,209 units sold, 1974 would be the most popular model year for the Pinto. In various forms, this engine would go on to power a variety of Ford vehicles for 23 years. Share this The Pinto Car Club of America was founded in 1999 with the goal of creating a dedicated online meeting place for Ford Pinto and Mercury Bobcat owners and enthusiasts across all generations. The larger inline-4 found in the Chevrolet Vega was an innovative, brand new design using an aluminum alloy block and iron head, but needed more development work as initially released. Many of these items are made available only to members · Private members-only message board where regional meets, shows, parts re-manufacturing, and events are planned and developed for everyone · While ads seen by visitors to our site help pay for a portion of the hosting costs, members who log on get to experience an ad-free site · Members receive unlimited gallery space on the site for photos of their cars · Members receive a 15% discount on merchandise offered on FordShowParts. Nothing in this, or any other, Ford test report indicates that participants felt cause for concern or organizational action.
However, the process by which manufacturers render such trade-off design decisions seems not only to be anticipated but endorsed by the prevailing risk-benefit standard for design liability. But on March 13, 1980, a jury found Ford innocent of a charge of failing to warn about or offer to repair fuel system defects in the Pinto before the day the three women were fatally burned. A friend of mine in during had one but it was a Pinto, I was surprised how well the Pinto handled! Many fire deaths undeniably result from high-speed collisions that would induce leakage even in state-of-the-art fuel systems;69 moreover, cars in the subcompact class generally entail a relatively high fatality risk. Our club offers many avenues to explore your interest in these cars for restoration, racing, or just good old-fashioned tooling around. Suspension was by unequal-length with front ; the live rear axle was suspended on. The case is also cited as an example of irrational punitive damage awards.
Other engineers believed that rubber bladders improved performance in tests, but anticipated problems under real-world conditions Strobel 1980. In 1974, Mercury began selling a rebadged version of the Pinto called Bobcat as a Canada-only model. The jury award was the largest against an automaker at the time. According to Weaver 1988, p. Another perspective was that the case was completely frivolous. It performed remarkably well for a car that has been parked in storage for most of its life.
One is that several significant factual misconceptions surround the public's understanding of the case. Ford was a landmark in product liability law as the first time a corporation faced criminal charges for a defective product, and the first time a corporation was charged with murder. This placement was not a viable option for the hatchback and station wagon body styles. The Pinto was a completely new platform, but utilized a powertrain from the European-specification. Because of the foreshortened time frame, however, some of these usually sequential processes were executed in parallel. A subsequent study concluded that the fire risks of the Ford Pinto were no greater than its contemporaries.
The design devolved into hexagonal headlight housings, a grille that's only a few inches tall yet wide enough to become the car's focal point, and a rear end that apparently melted from the roof. The Pinto doesn't seem so bad—that is, until you remember how sexy Fords from the 1960s were. A grand jury indicted Ford on three counts of reckless homicide. In various forms, this engine would go on to power a variety of Ford vehicles for 23 years. Ford changed the power ratings almost every year. Two landmark legal cases, Grimshaw vs Ford and State of Indiana vs Ford resulted from fatal accidents involving Pintos. While acknowledging this is an important legal point, Schwartz rejects the portrayal of the car as a firetrap.