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The Ford Pinto

Thomas Donaldson & Al Gini, Case Studies in BE , 4th edt.


Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New erse!, "##$, pp. %'(%"4

" a)* "#'+ tra*ic accident r)tier pe Hi*hwa! --, ln*/ Goshen, 0ndiana. S)rorile )d! 1i
2!nn
2!nn Ulrich 3"+, "$ ani 1i veri1oara lor Donna Ulrich 3"+ ani sta5iona) pe 1osea 6n 7ord)l
lor Pinto, model "#'-. A) 8ost i9:ite din spate de c/tre )n van, care circ)la c) min ; mile
pe or/. Re9ervor)l de :en9in/, a8lat 6n spatele ma1inii, s(a spart, ma1ina a e<plodat 1i cele
trei 8ete a) ars de vii.
Pentr) prima oar/, compania 7ord a 8ost ac)9at/ de )cidere din c)lp/ 3rec=less homicide.
Proces)l a d)rat % de s/pt/mni 1i >)d*e Harold Sta88eldt a e<plicat >)ri)l)i c/ 7ord poate
8i condamnat/ n)mai dac/ se poate dovedi c/ 7ord se 8ace vinovat/ de ?nesocotirea clar/,
con1tient/ 1i ne>)sti8ica:il/ a s)8erin5ei ce poate s/ re9)lte 3din ac5i)nile sale, aceast/
nesocotire implicnd o a:atere s):stan5ial/ de la standardele de cond)it/ accepta:ile@.
)ri)l a respins ac)9a5ia. 7ra9a cheie as)pra c/reia s(a p)rtat :/t/lia dintre ac)9are 1i
ap/rare a 8ost ?standarde accepta:ile@. Se poate sp)ne c/ 7ord a ales 6n mod deli:erat 1i
cinic pro8it)l 6n da)na si*)ran5ei 6n proiectarea 1i plasament)l re9ervor)l)i Bn timp ce
Cl=hart o)nt! prosec)tor Eichael osentino 1i chie8 7ord attorne! ames Neal se l)pta)
dramatic as)pra acestei chesti)ni, tot medi)l american de a8aceri a1tepta c) s)8let)l la
*)r/ verdict)l, care p)tea s/ ai:/ )rm/ri 8oarte drastice as)pra corporate responsi:ilit!
and prod)ct lia:ilit!
li a:ilit!..
Antecedentele procesului s)nt semni8icative. ontroversele privind Pinto a) 6ncep)t )n
an mai devreme. Bn "#'', Ear= Dowie, *eneral mana*er al revistei Mother Jones
p):licase )n articol, intit)lat Pinto Madness, 6n care ac)9a 7ord de 8apt)l c/ p)sese 6n
circ)la5ie o ma1in/ nesi*)r/, 6n care s)te de oameni s)8eriser/ 6n mod in)til ars)ri mortale
sa) 8oarte *rave, c) )rm/ri irepara:ile. Bn articol se a8irma c/
F s): presi)nea conc)ren5ei , 7ord lansase model)l Pinto 6n mare *ra:/
F in*inerii de la 7ord constataser/ 6n timp)l testelor premer*/toare prod)c5iei de serie c/
re9ervor)l, plasat 6n spate, era e<trem de v)lnera:il, e<plodnd 8oarte )1or 6n )rma )nor
ciocniri din spate
F deoarece linia de asam:lare era de>a p)s/ la p)nct 6n moment)l descoperirii acest)i
nea>)ns, o8icialii de la 7ord a) decis ca ma1ina s/ intre 6n prod)c5ie c) acest de8ect, de1i
7ord de5inea patent)l )n)i tip de re9ervor m)lt mai si*)r, 8olosit la model)l apri
F 6n )rm/torii + ani, 7ord 8/c)se )n lo::! e<trem de e8icient pentr) amnarea )nor
re*lement/ri *)vernamentale mai severe, care ar 8i o:li*at compania s/ 6nloc)iasc/
re9ervor)l v)lnera:il
F 6ntr(o estimare pr)dent/, accidentele Pinto ca)9aser/ ; de mor5i din ca)9a ars)rilor,
oameni care n) ar 8i m)rit dac/ ma1inile lor n) ar 8i l)at 8ocI ci8ra ar 8i p)t)t atin*e 6ns/ 1i
valoarea #.
F chesti)nea devenise att de peni:il/ pt 7ord, 6nct a*en5ia sa de p):licitate, alter
Thomson, eliminase )ltima 8ra9/ dintr(o reclam/ radio, care s)na ast8el ?Pinto leaves !o)
with that warm 8eelin*@
F 7ord 1tie c/ Pinto este a 8ire trap, 1i tot)1i a pl/tit milioane pentr) a re9olva liti*iile 6n
a8ara tri:)nalelor 1i este *ata s/ pl/teasc/ alte milioane pentr) lo::! 6mpotriva )nor
re*lement/ri de sec)ritate mai stricte
F c) .; milioane de ma1ini scoase de pe :and/ an)al, Pinto este cel mai vnd)t
s):compact din America, iar pro8it)rile companiei s)nt imense
F 8inalmente, 6n "#'' 7ord a introd)s cteva modi8ic/ri, p)5in costisitoare, pt a satis8ace
noile re*lement/ri, pe care a re)1it s/ le amne vreme de + ani, datorit/ )nei ?cost(:ene8it
anal!sis@, care 8i<ea9/ )n pre5 6n dolari pe o via5/ de om.
2a cteva s/pt/mni, 7ord emite )n com)nicat de pres/, re8erind)(se la date statistice
total di8erite
F Dowie s)s5ine c/ peste - de oameni mor an)al din ca)9a incendiilor a)toI potrivit
National Hi*hwa! Tra88ic Sa8et! Administration 3NHTSA, 7ord de5ine %4J din ma1inile de
pe 1oselele americane, dar 4%J din accidentele mortale din ca)9a e<plo9iei re9ervor)l)i.
F Ka9nd)(se pe datele 8)rni9ate de 7atalit! Anal!sis Reportin* S!stem 37ARS, 7ord
a8irm/ c/ 6n "#'; s(a) 6nre*istrat +4+ de decese ca)9ate de incendii a)to, din care n)mai
"- PintoI 6n "#'$, a) 8ost n)mai %% Pinto din #4-, ceea ce arat/ c/ decesele Pinto
repre9int/ doar ",#J din total)l accidentelorI 6n pl)s, doar ;J din accidentele 6nre*istrate
de 7ARS a) 8ost provocate de ciocniri din spate.
F 7ord admite c/ primele modele Pinto n) coresp)ndea testelor de ciocnire din spate c)
% mph, dar de9minte c/, din ca)9a acest)i 8apt, model)l ar 8i 8ost mai nesi*)r dect alte
modele similare, care nici ele n) satis8/cea) acest criteri) la vremea respectiv/. 7ord 1i(a
8i<at sin*)r acest standard la vremea respectiv/, cnd n) era cer)t de re*lemet/rile
*)vernamentale 1i 6n 8iecare an a ad)s 6m:)n/t/5iri pt satis8acerea acest)i standard. De
altminteri, 6ntotdea)na standardele a)toimp)se de 7ord a) 8ost mai severe dect cele
*)vernamentale.
F Cste, prin )rmare, nere9ona:il 1i nedrept s/ pretin9i c/ o ma1in/ este oarec)m
nesi*)r/ pt c/ n) satis8ace ni1te standarde s)perioare, introd)se )lterior, pe :a9a )nor
inova5ii tehnolo*ice introd)se la modelele 6m:)n/t/5ite.
Dowie contraatac/, ar/tnd c/ 7ord a d)s )n lo::! 8oarte activ pt a n) se introd)ce
re*lementarea % mph rear(impact, deoarece avea linia de asam:lare instalat/ 3 L %
mil, iar introd)cerea re*lement/rii ar 8i 6nsemnat pierderi 8oarte serioase de reproiectare 1i
modi8icare a liniei tehnolo*ice. Diver1i speciali1ti s)s5in c/ proiectarea a 8ost )n adev/rat
de9astr) tehnic, deoarece 7ord avea patent)l )n)i alt tip de re9ervor, m)lt mai si*)r, dar a
pre8erat aceast/ sol)5ie, total iresponsa:il/.
ea mai controversat/ chesti)ne a 8ost anali9a cost)ri(:ene8icii, intit)lat/ 7atalities
 Associated with rash(0nd)ced 7)el 2ea=a*e and 7ires, 1i reali9at/ de . . Cchlod,
Director o8 A)tomotive Sa8et! de la 7ord. Acest st)di) a convins 7ord 1i )rm/rea s/
convin*/ 1i *)vern)l 8ederal c/ o 6m:)n/t/5ire tehnic/ 6n valoare de L "" pe ma1in/, care
ar 8i prevenit r)perea re9ervor)l)i, n) era avanta>oas/ pt societate.
Benefits

Cconomii "+ de mor5i ar1i, "+ r/niri prin ars)ri *rave, %" de vehic)le arse
ostM)nitate L %. pe mort, L $'. pe r6nit, L ' pe vehic)l
Kene8ici) total "+  3L%. O "+  3L$'. O %"  3L'  L 4#.; mil
Costs
n9/ri "" mil. ma1ini, ".; mil li*ht tr)c=s
ost )nitate L"" pe ma1in/, L"" pe tr)c=
Total cost "" mil  3L"" O ".; mil  3L""  L"-' mil.
1971 Costs
Componente
7)t)re prod)ctivit! losses
  Direct L"-%.
0ndirect 4".-
Eedical costs
Hospital '
Qther 4%;
Propert! dama*e ";
0ns)rance Administration 4'
2e*al and co)rt -
Cmplo!er losses "
ictims pain and s)88erin* ".
7)neral #
 Assets 3lost cons)mtion ;
Eiscellaneo)s %
TQTA2 PCR 7ATA20T L%.
F Dowie n) a re)1it s/ a8le c)m s(a sta:ilit s)ma de L". pt pain and s)88erin*. Bn
realitate, n) 7ord, ci *)vern)l 8ederal sta:ilise aceast/ ci8r/, iar anali9a cost(:ene8icii
reali9at/ de 7ord s(a :a9at pe ea.
F Bn pl)s, Dowie o:iectea9/ c/ n) a) 8ost l)ate 6n calc)l dect decesel, dar persoanele c)
ars)ri *rave, r/mase 6n via5/, s)nt e<cl)se din calc)l, acestea 8iind de # ori mai
n)meroase dect decesele.
F Dowie pretinde c/ este 6n posesia )nor in8orma5ii con8iden5iale din interior)l 7ord, care
atest/ c/, 6n realitate, cost)rile introd)cerii )nei c/m/1i de ca)ci)c 6n re9ervor ar 8i 8ost c)
m)lt mai mici, de n)mai L;.+ pe vehic)l.
F oncl)9ie Dowie Bn loc s/ 8ac/ o 6m:)n/t/5ire de L"", ori s/ instale9e o c/ma1/ de
ca)ci)c de L;, ori s/ dea m/car posi:ilitatea c)mp/r/tor)l)i de a s)porta cost)l
s)plimentar 6n c)no1tin5/ de ca)9/, 7ord a pre8erat s/ amne re*lementarea timp de +
ani. Bn acest timp, mii de oameni a) ars de vii, 9eci de mii a) s)8erit ars)ri *rave 1i
milioane de vehic)le nesi*)re, prod)se pn/ la re*lementare, vor contin)a s/ circ)le 1i s/
omoare oameni.
F N) este o strate*ie speci8ic/ n)mai companiei 7ord, ci t)t)ror prod)c/torilor de
vehic)le, incl)siv pe c/ile 8erate sa) avioane.
F 7ord a pl/tit milioane de dolari da)ne 6n )rma )nor deci9ii >)dec/tore1ti sa) a )nor
aran>amente 6n a8ara tri:)nal)l)i. Bn cele din )rm/, 7ord a decis s/ n) mai a>)n*/ la
tri:)nal c) nici )n ca9 de incendi), pt c/ >)ra5ii s)nt prea sentimentali 1i se 6nmoaie cnd
v/d 8oto*ra8iile c) tr)p)ri car:oni9ate. 7ord a pre8erat s/ aran>e9e l)cr)rile 1i s/ pl/teasc/
s)me considera:ile, n)mai pt c/ acestea era) oric)m mai mici dect modi8icarea liniei de
asam:lare.
"- martie "#+ Cl=hart o)nt! >)r! 8o)nd 7ord not *)ilt! o8 criminal homicide in the Ulrich
case.
 Bn pledoaria 8inal/, 7ord attorne! Neal preci9ea9/
F 7ord p)tea s/ stea deoparte de pia5a a)tomo:ilelor mici, o:5innd pro8it)ri mai mari din
vn9area de a)to mari. 7ord s(a avent)rat pe pia5a a)to mici pt a contracare import)rile, pt
a crea loc)ri de m)nc/ 6n America 1i pt a(1i satis8ace ac5ionarii.
F Pinto coresp)ndea t)t)ror standardelor 8ederale, 8iind compara:il/ c) toate
s):compactele din "#'-
F 0n*inerii 7ord a) considerat c/ este o ma1in/ :)n/, si*)r/, c)mp/rnd(o pt ei 1i
8amiliile lor 
F 7ord a 8/c)t tot ceea ce era posi:il 1i necesar pt a retra*e Pinto d)p/ ce i s(a ordonat
de c/tre NHTSA
F Hi*hwa! -- era *re1it proiectat/, iar 8etele sta5iona) 6n moment)l 6n care a) 8ost lovite
din spate de c/tre )n van de peste " ton/, c) cel p)5in ; mph, condi5ii 6n care orice alt/
ma1in/ ar 8i p/5it e<act acela1i l)cr).
Prosec)tor osentino 1i(a sl/:it ca9)l din moment)l 6n care >)d*e Sta88eldt n) a admis ca
pro:e 6n proces o serie de doc)mente ale 7ord, anterioare an)l)i "+'-, care dovedea) c/
in*inerii de la 7ord era) con1tien5i la vremea respectiv/ de risc)rile re9ervor)l)i adoptat pt
a c1ti*a spa5i) 6n port:a*a> 1i pt a economisi :ani, prec)m 1i de 8apt)l c/ re9ervor)l apri
era m)lt mai si*)r.
Richard Cpstein, pro8essor o8 law at the Universit! o8 hica*o arat/ c/ )n proces penal n)
avea nici o 1ans/ de c1ti* din partea ac)9/rii, deoarece ac)9area ar 8i tre:)it s/ pro:e9e
o inten5ie criminal/ din partea 7ord. Eai m)lt s)cces ar 8i av)t )n proces civil. Analo*ie
cineva tra*e c) p)1ca 6ntr(o c/prioar/, dar nimere1te )n alt vn/tor, neinten5ionatI n)
poate 8i ac)9at penal, dar este dator s/ pl/teasc/ da)ne, sta:ilite de )n proces civil. Qr, pe
ln*/ 8apt)l c/ e *re) de atri:)it o inten5ionalitate )nei corpora5ii, 6n ca9)l de 8a5/ n) se
poate sp)ne c/ 7ord a procedat c) inten5ii criminale. Bn orice ind)strie se 8ac compromis)ri
 6ntre cost)ri 1i sec)ritatea prod)s)l)i. 7ord p)tea s/ constr)iasc/ )n tanc, dar cine l(ar 8i
c)mp/rat
0ar ac)9area 1i penali9area )nor o8iciali de la 7ord n) se p)tea 8ace, din lips/ de pro:e.
Proiectant)l 1e8 a declarat c/ preoc)parea sa a 8ost s/ disp)n/ re9ervor)l ct mai departe
de pasa*eri, ceea ce a 1i 8/c)t. Pe de alt/ parte, m)l5i dintre salaria5ii de la 7ord a)
c)mp/rat 1i 8olosit Pinto.
Nici )n proces civil n) ar 8i av)t 1anse mari de c1ti*, deoarece calc)lele 8/c)te de 7ord
era) standard 1i era) aplicate acelea1i 8orm)le 6n 6ntrea*a ind)strie.

VELASQUEZ, 6th edn, p.$($"


THE FORD P!TO "ASE

The sc#nd#l #nd the tri#l

Qn A)*)st ", "#'+, a tra*ic a)tomo:ile accident occ)rred on U.S. Hi*hwa! -- near
Goshen, 0ndiana. Sisters )d! and 2!nn Ulrich 3a*es "+ and "$, respectivel! and their
co)sin Donna Ulrich 3a*e "+ were str)c= 8rom the rear in their "#'- 7ord Pinto :! a van.
The *as tan= o8 the Pinto r)pr)red, the car :)rst into 8lames and the three teen(a*ers were
:)rned to death.
S):se)entl! an Cl=hart o)nt! *rand >)r! ret)rned a criminal homicide char*e a*ainst
7ord, the 8irst ever a*ainst an American corporation. D)rin* the 8ollowin* %(wee= trial,
)d*e Harold R. Sta88eld advised the >)r! that 7ord sho)ld :e convicted o8 rec=less
homicide i8 it were shown that the compan! had en*a*ed in @plain, conscio)s and
)n>)sti8ia:le disre*ard o8 harm that mi*ht res)lt 38rom its actions and the disre*ard
involves a s):stantial deviation 8rom accepta:le standards o8 cond)ct. The =e! phrase
aro)nd which the trial hin*ed, o8 co)rse, is @accepta:le standards. Did 7ord =nowin*l!
and rec=lessl! choose pro8it over sa8et! in the desi*n and placement o8 the Pintos *as
tan= Cl=hart o)nt! prosec)tor Eichael A. osentino and chie8 7ord attorne! ames 7.
Neal :attled dramaticall! over this iss)e in a r)ral 0ndiana co)rtho)se. Eeanwhile,
 American :)siness an<io)sl! awaited the verdict which co)ld send warnin* ripples thro)*h
:oard rooms across the nation concernin* corporate responsi:ilit! and prod)ct lia:ilit!.
The Pinto contro$ers%

0n "#'' the ma*a9ine Mother Jones :ro=e a stor! :! Ear= Dowie, *eneral mana*er o8
Mother Jones :)siness operations, acc)sin* 7ord o8 =nowin*l! p)ttin* on the road an
)nsa8e car V the Pinto V in which h)ndreds o8 people have needlessl! s)88ered :)rn
deaths and even more have :een scarred and dis8i*)red d)e to :)rns. 0n his article @Pinto
Eadness Dowie char*es that

 7i*htin* stron* competition 8rom  8or the l)crative small(car mar=et, the 7ord Eotor
ompan! r)shed the Pinto into prod)ction in m)ch less than the )s)al time.
 7ord en*ineers discovered in pre(prod)ction crash tests that rear(end collisions wo)ld
r)pt)re the Pintos 8)el s!stem e<tremel! easil!. Keca)se assem:l!(line machiner!
was alread! tooled when en*ineers 8o)nd this de8ect, top 7ord o88icials decided to
man)8act)re the car an!wa! V e<plodin* *as tan= and all V even tho)*h 7ord owned
the patent on a m)ch sa8er *as tan=.
 7or more than ei*ht !ears a8terwards, 7ord s)ccess8)ll! lo::ied, with e<traordinar!
vi*or and some :latant lies, a*ainst a =e! *overnment sa8et! standard that wo)ld have
8orced the compan! to chan*e the Pintos 8ire(prone *as tan=.
 K! conservative estimates Pinto crashes have ca)sed ; :)rn deaths to people who
wo)ld not have :een serio)sl! in>)red i8 the car had not :)rst into 8lames. The 8i*)re
co)ld :e as hi*h as #. K)rnin* Pintos have :ecome s)ch an em:arrassment to 7ord
that its advertisin* a*enc!, . alter Thomson, dropped a line 8rom the endin* o8 a
radio spot that read @Pinto leaves !o) with that warm 8eelin*.
 7ord =nows that the Pinto is a 8iretrap, !et it has paid o)t millions to settle dama*e
s)its o)t o8 co)rt, and it is prepared to spen millions more lo::!in* a*ainst sa8et!
standards. ith a hal8 million cars rollin* o88 the assem:l! lines each !ear, Pinto is the
:i**est(sellin* s):compact in America, and the compan!s operatin* pro8it on the car
is 8antastic. 7inall!, in "#'', new Pinto models have incorporated a 8ew minor
alterations necessar! to meet that 8ederal standard 7ord mana*ed to hold o88 8or ei*ht
!ears. h! did the compan! dela! so lon* ma=in* these minimal, ine<pensive
improvements
 7ord waited ei*ht !ears :eca)se its internal @cost(:ene8it anal!sis, which places a
dollar val)e on h)man li8e, said it wasnt pro8ita:le to ma=e the chan*es sooner.
The Ford&s de'ense

Several wee=s a8ter Dowies press con8erence, 7ord iss)ed a news release, co)nterin*
points made in the Mother Jones article.
 Their statistical st)dies si*ni8icantl! con8licted with each other. 7or e<ample, Dowie
states that more than - people were :)rnin* to death !earl! in a)to 8iresI he claims
that, accordin* to a National Hi*hwa! Tra88ic Sa8et! Administration 3NHTSA
cons)ltant, altho)*h 7ord ma=es %4J o8 the cars on American Roads, these cars
acco)nt 8or 4%J o8 the collision(r)pt)red 8)el tan=s. 7ord, on the other, )ses statistics
8rom the 7atalit! Anal!sis Reportin* S!stem 37ARS maintained :! the *overnment
NHTSA to de8end itsel8, claimin* that in "#'; there were +4+ deaths related to 8ire(
associated passen*er(car accidents and onl! "- o8 these involved PintosI in "#'$,
Pintos acco)nted 8or onl! %% o)t o8 #4-. These statistics impl! that Pintos were
involved in onl! ".#J o8 s)ch accidents, and Pintos constit)te a:o)t ".#J o8 the total
re*istered passen*er cars. 7)rthermore, 8ewer than hal8 o8 those Pintos cited in the
7ARS st)d! were str)c= in the rear. 7ord concl)des 8rom this and other st)dies that the
Pinto was never an )nsa8e car and has not :een involved in some ' :)rn deaths
ann)all! as Mother Jones claims.
 7ord admits that earl! model Pintos did not meet rear(impact tests at % mph :)t
denies that this implies that the! were )nsa8e compared to other cars of that type and
era. 0n 8act, its tests were cond)cted, accordin* to 7ord, some with e<perimental
r)::er @:ladders to protect the *as tan=, in order to determine how :est to have their
8)t)re cars meet a % mph rear(collision standard which 7ord itsel8 set as an internal
per8ormance *oal. The *overnment at that time had no s)ch standard. 7ord also points
o)t that in ever! model !ear Pinto met or s)rpassed the *overnments own standards,
and it simpl! is )nreasona:le and )n8air to contend that a car is somehow )nsa8e i8 it
does not meet standards proposed 8or 8)t)re !ears or em:od! the technolo*ical
improvements that are introd)ced in later model !ears.
!e( ch#r)es #)#inst Ford

Mother Jones, on the other hand, presents a di88erent view o8 the sit)ation. 08 7ord was so
concerned a:o)t rear(impact sa8et!, wh! did it dela! the 8ederal *overnments attempts to
impose standards Dowie *ives the 8ollowin* answer
 The partic)lar re*)lation involved here was 7ederal Eotor ehicle Sa8et! Standard
-". 7ord pic=ed portions o8 Standard %" 8or stron* opposition wa! :ac= in "#$+
when the Pinto was still in the :l)eprint sta*e. The intent o8 -", and the - series
that 8olloed it, was to protect drivers and passen*ers a8ter a crash occ)rs. itho)t
)estion the worst post(crash ha9ard is 8ire. Standard -" ori*inall! proposed that all
cars sho)ld :e a:le to withstand a 8i<ed :arrier impact o8 % mph 3that is, r)nnin* into
a wall at that speed witho)t losin* 8)el.

 hen the standard was proposed, 7ord en*ineers p)lled their crash(test res)lts o)t o8
their 8iles. The 8ront ends o8 most cars were no pro:lem V with minor alterations the!
co)ld stand the impact witho)t losin* 8)el. @e were alread! wor=in* on the 8ront end,
7ord en*ineer Dic= Wim:le admitted. @e =new we co)ld meet the test on the 8ront
end. K)t with the Pinto partic)larl!, a % mph rear(end standard meant redesihnin*
the entire rear end o8 the car. ith the Pinto sched)led 8or prod)ction in A)*)st "#',
and with L% million worth o8 tools in place, adoption o8 this standard wo)ld have
created a minor 8inancial disaster. So Standard -" was tar*eted 8or dela!, and with
some assistance 8rom its ind)str! associates, 7ord s)cceeded :e!ond its wildest
e<pectations the standard was not adopted )ntil the "#'' model !ear.
7ords tactics were s)ccess8)l, accordin* to Dowie, not onl! d)e to their e<tremel! clever
lo::!in*, which :ecame the env! o8 lo::!sts all over ashin*ton, :)t also :eca)se o8 the
pro(ind)str! stance o8 NHTSA itsel8.
7)rthermore, it is not at all clear that the Pinto was as sa8e as other compara:le cars with
re*ard to the positionin* o8 its *as tan=. Unli=e the *as tan= in the apri which rode over
the rear a<le, a @saddle(t!pe 8)el tan= on which 7ord owned the patent, the Pinto tan= was
placed >)st :ehind the rear :)mper.

 Dr. 2eslie Kall, the retired sa8et! chie8 8or the NASA manned space pro*ram and a
8o)nder o8 the 0nternational Societ! o8 Relia:ilit! Cn*ineers @The release to prod)ction
o8 the Pinto was the most reprehensi:le decision in the histor! o8 American
en*ineerin*. Kall can name more than 4 C)ropean and apanese models in the
Pinto price and wei*ht ran*e with sa8er *as(tan= positionin*.
 2os An*eles a)to sa8et! e<pert K!ron Kloch @0ts a catastrophic :l)nder. 7ord made an
e<tremel! irresponsi:le decision when the! placed s)ch a wea= tan= in s)ch a
ridic)lo)s location in s)ch a so8t rear end. 0ts almost desi*ned to :low )p V
premeditated.
The cruci#l point* # c%nic#l cost+ene'it #n#l%sis

Perhaps the most intri*)in* and controversial is the cost(:ene8it anal!sis st)d! that 7ord
did entitled @7atalities Associated with rash(0nd)ced 7)el 2ea=a*e and 7ires, released
:! . . Cchlod, Director o8 A)tomotive Sa8et! 8or 7ord. This st)d! apparentl! convinced
7ord and was intended to convince the 8ederal *overnment that a technical improvement
costin* L"" per car which wo)ld have prevented *as tan=s 8rom r)pt)rin* so easil! was
not cost(e88ective 8or societ!. The costs and :ene8its are :ro=en down in the 8ollowin* wa!
Benefits
Savin*s "+ :)rn deaths, "+ serio)s :)rn in>)ries, %,"
:)rned vehicles
Unit ost L%, per death, L$', per in>)r!, L' per 
  vehicle
Total Kene8it "+  3L%, O "+  3L$', O %,"  3L'
 L4#.; million

Costs
Sales "" million cars, ".; million li*ht tr)c=s
Unit ost L"" per car, L"" per tr)c=
Total ost "",,  3L"" O ",;,  3L""  L"-' million

The most controversial aspect proved to :e the wa! 7ords acco)ntants determined the
total cost o8 a h)man li8e as a:o)t L%,.
Component 1971 Costs
7)t)re Prod)ctivit! 2osses
Direct L"-%,
0ndirect 4",-
Eedical osts
Hospital '
Qther 4%;
Propert! Dama*e ",;
0ns)rance Administration 4,'
2e*al and o)rt -,
Cmplo!er 2osses ",
ictims Pain and S)88erin* ",
7)neral #
 Assets 32ost ons)mption ;,
Eiscellaneo)s %
TQTA2 PCR 7ATA20T L%,'%;

Mother Jones reports it co)ld not 8ind an:od! who) co)ld e<plain how the L", 8i*)re
8or @pain and s)88erin had :een arrived at.
 Altho)*h 7ord does not mention this point in its News Release de8ense, it mi*ht have
replied that it was the 8ederal *overnment, not 7ord, that set the 8i*)re 8or a :)rn death.
7ord simpl! carried o)t a cost(:ene8it anal!sis :ased on that 8i*)re. Mother Jones,
however, in addition to insin)atin* that there was ind)str!(a*enc! 3NHTSA coll)sion,
ar*)es taht the L%, 8i*)re was arrived at )nder intense press)re 8rom the a)to
ind)str! to )se cost(:ene8it anal!sis in determinin* re*)lations.

 Mother Jones also )estions 7ords estimate o8 :)rn in>)ries @All independent e<perts
estimate that 8or each person who dies :! an a)to 8ire, man! more are le8t with charred
hands, 8aces and lim:s. The tr)e ratio o:vio)sl! throws the compan!s calc)lations
wa! o88.
 7inall!, Mother Jones claims to have o:tained @con8idential 7ord doc)ments which
7ord did not send to ashin*ton, showin* that crash 8ires co)ld :e lar*el! prevented
:! installin* a r)::er :ladder inside the *as tan= 8or onl! L;.+ per car, considera:l!
less than the L"" per car 7ord ori*inall! claimed was re)ired to improve crash(
worthiness.
 7ord has paid millions o8 dollars in Pinto >)r! trials and o)t(o8(co)rt settlements,
especiall! the latter. Mother Jones )otes Al Schlechter in 7ords ashin*ton o88ice as
sa!in* @ ell never *o to a >)r! a*ain. Not in a 8ire case. )ries are >)st too
sentimental. The! see those charred remains and 8or*et the evidence. No sir, well
settle.
0nstead o8 ma=in* the L"" improvement, installin* the L;.+ :ladder, or even *ivin* the
cons)mer the ri*ht to choose the additional cost 8or added sa8et!, 7ord contin)ed to dela!
the 8ederal *overnment 8or ei*ht !ears in esta:lishin* mandator! rear(impact standards. 0n
the meantime tho)sands o8 people were :)rnin* to death and tens o8 tho)sands more
were :ein* :adl! :)rned and dis8i*)red 8or li8e, tra*edies man! o8 which co)ld have :een
prevented 8or onl! a sli*ht cost per vehicle. 7)rthermore, the dela! also meant that millions
o8 new )nsa8e vehicles went on the road, vehicles that will :e crashin*, lea=in* 8)el and
incineratin* people well into the "#+s.
Un8ort)natel!, Dowie claims, the Pinto is not an isolated case o8 corporate malpractice in
the a)to ind)str!. Neither is 7ord a lone sinner. There pro:a:l! isnt a car on the road
witho)t a sa8et! ha9ard =nown to its man)8act)rer. 7)rthermore, cost(val)in* h)man li8e is
not )sed :! 7ord alone. 7ord was >)st the onl! compan! careless eno)*h to let s)ch an
em:arrassin* calc)lation slip into p):lic records. The process o8 will8)ll! tradin* lives 8or
pro8its is :)ilt into corporate capitalism.