Ford Pinto Mother Jones
The 1970s were a good time for bad fuel tanks in american cars.
Ford pinto mother jones. It portrayed the car as particularly susceptible to fires in rear end crashes. However the agency didn t really get serious until a 1977 article in mother jones that exposed the pinto s fire danger and ford s internal documents showing the company knew of the potential. Society of reliability engineers recently made a. While ford s reputation plunged with the exploding pinto general motors was coolly producing its c k line of pickup trucks which.
It was in august 1977 that mother jones a magazine published in california printed an article titled pinto madness. How do you remember the ford pinto as a firetrap or simply a popular ubiquitous fairly ugly car. Now the conspiracy begins. Ford made the decision this june but the seed of the decision was planted a year ago.
Mother jones mother jones henry ford with bulldog tenacity henry ford i i held out for the defeat of auto safety legislation to the very end. Ford was fully aware of all these construction problems. The public understanding of the cost benefit analysis has contributed to the mythology of the ford pinto case. For seven years the ford motor company sold cars in which it knew hundreds of people would needlessly burn to death.
In fact in 1977 an anonymous ford engineer told mother jones that the only people at ford who cared about safety are mostly engineers who have to study a lot of accident reports and look at pictures of burned people. Cover of the 1977 issue of mother jones that fanned the flames of pinto madness. The mother jones article also erroneously claimed that somewhere between 500 and 900 persons had been killed in fires attributed to the pinto s unique design features. In other words the pinto was considered a deathtrap on four wheels.
Product superiority for a car built today would likely include some reference to safety but not then. In 1978 while in the midst of civil suits and mounting bad press from the mother jones article ford recalled approximately 1 5 million pintos model years 1070 76 to fix the fuel tank issue.
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