We had a 1973 Ford Pinto, purchased in 1974 at Canal Ford in New Orleans. It was dark green exterior and light green interior, with the small Kent 4 cylinder engine that was made in Great Britain. As it turned out, we kept it for 11 years and it was a fine car, with minimal repairs. It never let me down, got good gas mileage, was more than a bit slow, and had absolutely no panache!
So I started to rethink the Pinto story, given my own experience. More significantly, automobile history is proliferated with myths and mistruths that are repeated time and time again.
I found an article on the Pinto safety cases that is definitely worth reading: Gary T. Schwartz, "The Myth of the Ford Pinto Case," Rutgers Law Review, (1990-1991), p1013 ff. There is plenty here to consider.
Included in the footnotes is a table compelled by Schwartz from NHTSA Vehicle Fatality Data.
Car 1975 1976
AMC Gremlin 274 315
Chevrolet Vega 288 310
Datsun 1200/210 392 418
Datsun 510 294 340
Ford Pinto 298 322
Toyota Corolla 333 293
VW Beetle 378 370
|A thirteen-year-old boy suffered severe burns when the 1972 Pinto in which he was a passenger burst into flames in a rear-end collision‚ This was the accident litigated in the celebrated Grimshaw Case in CA.|