This pattern was confirmed in careful rear-end crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This placement was not a viable option for the hatchback and station wagon body styles. Thus Standard 301 was not needed. It was their design which left no safe stopping place along Highway 33 where cars could pull over for emergencies. Posner, The Economic Structure of Tort Law, 23 1987. There were also bolts that were positioned in a manner that threatened the gas tank. The Pinto and its Mercury counterpart, the Bobcat, went on to become a top-selling subcompact in America in the early 1970s.
He spoke with excitement about the fabric gas tank Ford was testing at that very moment. Activity Frequency If a company or a court were to accurately analyze the costs and benefits of an activity, it must calculate the number of times the potential victim engages in the activity. Why did the company delay so long in making these minimal, inexpensive improvements? Was the Pinto fire controversy a lot of hype, or had Ford truly discounted human lives in order to save a few dollars? It quickly became obvious that corners were cut. After all, is not human life priceless? Rutgers Law Review, 43, 1013-1068. It was estimated that making the change would result in a total of 180 less burn deaths, 180 less serious burn injuries, and 2,100 less burned vehicles. Imports were starting to make their presence in the market because they offered subcompact cars at reasonable prices. However, the auto industry has taken advantage of this process and has used it to delay lifesaving emission and safety standards for years.
A Ford Spokesman declined to give the cost of the recall, but all Pintos produced thru March 19, including 204,000 in the United States, 13,000 in Canada and 2,500 overseas, are involved in the program. If the expected harm exceeded the cost to take precaution, the defendant was obligated to take the precaution, and if they did not, would be held liable. Ford lobbyists then used technique a —bringing up a new argument. So, it was later alleged, when Ford engineers found a serious defect in the gasoline tank, it was too late. But at the time, management's attitude was to get the product out the door as fast as possible. One may specially value a personal relationship, but how often he calls this person is influenced by long-distance rates.
It is hard to determine the exact number of victims because every victim did not file a claim, but these numbers were reasonable estimations at the time. Because of this organizations needs to promptly and properly respond to the issue at hand. The Pinto did not pass. But the accident made a vivid impression on him. They say cars are shipped back and forth across the border as a matter of course.
On March 13, 1980, the jury found Ford not guilty of criminal homicide. The driver had stopped in the road to retrieve the car's gas cap which had been inadvertently left on the top of the car and subsequently fell onto the road. If the cost was larger than the expected harm, the defendant was not expected to take the precaution. The pinto then acquired a rupture-proof fuel tank. Business and Society Review 23: 51-55. This is where a third successful fix had been devised -- a rather simple plastic insulator fitted on the differential that would keep the bolts from ever making contact with the fuel tank. Other issues, such as the ethics involved in Ford's decision, the choice of prosecuting Ford criminally, whistle-blowing, the assignment of punitive damages and the Court of Appeals decision reducing the damages are all important issues of this case that will not be the focus herein.
See Birsch, supra note 3, at 129. So, even when a crash test showed that that one-pound, one-dollar piece of plastic stopped the puncture of the gas tank, it was thrown out as extra cost and extra weight. Shedding its original Maverick-like styling, the Pinto took on the look of the modern Fairmont with rectangular headlamps, inboard vertical parking lamps and a taller slanted back grille. The Pinto sold well until the media called special attention to the Pinto fuel tank story. One evening in the mid-1960s, Arjay Miller was driving home from his office in Dearborn, , in the four-door Lincoln Continental that went with his job as president of the. Ford was not in violation of the law in any way and had to make the decision whether to incur a cost to fix the obvious problem internally. Do you realize that if we put a Capri-type tank in the Pinto, you could only get one set of golf clubs in the trunk? Kenneth Saczalski, safety engineer with the Office of Naval Research in Washington, agrees.
Foreign imports also had exceptional marketing campaigns to secure grounding within the American market. This created a new theory of negligence, one of balancing risks and benefits. This is the purpose of this series: cars which, right or wrong, we think of as fire hazards. Auto Industry is 'Remarkable' in Spite of Recession: Ford: Auto Trade Remarkable, Ford Asserts. . According to in 2003, the indictment was a low point in Ford's reputation.
All eight of the Pintos equipped with the standard fuel tank failed. Los Angeles auto safety expert Byron Bloch has made an in-depth study of the Pinto fuel system. Promises of a light and cheap car were made to entice potential customers. The court upheld a jury verdict against the power company, stating that electricity was dangerous and that the defendant had to take the utmost standard of care. Twenty-seven people died in Pinto fires and countless others suffered serious burns. The Ford Pinto burst into flames immediately. Those vehicles were not known for their overwhelming quality, but for their competitive price point.
Nevertheless, it illustrates the type of reasoning that was probably used in the Pinto case. Do you realize that if we put a Capri-type tank in the Pinto, you could only get one set of golf clubs in the trunk? That June, Ford voluntarily recalled all 1. Looking at it, one imagines its large staff protects consumers from burned and broken limbs. These remarks add an interesting dimension to the Pinto case in that one of the clear lessons was to confront issues raised about defective products. Judge Posner argues this standard was used long before Judge Learned Hand first expressed it in algebraic terms in Carroll Towing. This balancing act seemed to be a tolerable middle ground between the old negligence liability standard and the extreme standard of absolute liability. Initially the car sold well, but a defect in the early models made Pintos prone to leaking fuel and catching on fire after relatively low-speed, rear-end collisions.
Before the disaster of the Pinto Fires, Ford had a reputation as being the safety pioneer in the automobile industry with additions such as the seat belts. There would be no clear limits for the actions of regulatory agencies. At this time many families began to purchase multiple vehicles. Barbara Ann White, Risk-Utility Analysis and the Learned Hand Formula: A Hand That Helps or a Hand That Hides? Although some Ford engineers were not especially pleased, they felt that the data were inconclusive or the risks acceptable Feaheny 1997; Strobel 1980 , or they kept their concerns to themselves Camps 1997. See Birsch, supra note 3, at 137.