cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"Safety doesn't sell"

New car, caviar, four star daydream, think I'll buy me a football team

Pardon moi for a moment as we recall a Mother Jones article from 1977.

Pinto Madness
Ford knows the Pinto is a firetrap, yet it has paid out millions to settle damage suits out of court, and it is prepared to spend millions more lobbying against safety standards. With a half million cars rolling off the assembly lines each year, Pinto is the biggest-selling subcompact in America, and the company's operating profit on the car is fantastic. Finally, in 1977, new Pinto models have incorporated a few minor alterations necessary to meet that federal standard Ford managed to hold off for eight years. Why did the company delay so long in making these minimal, inexpensive improvements?
There's several very unpleasant analogies that are still playing out in 2006's corporate environment, Lee Iacocca's "safety doesn't sell" quip has simply morphed into a myriad of other evil expediencies. I could tick off potentially hundreds, but I realise you can fill in the gaps there for yourselves. Have a nice day.

3 Comments:

  • cil, Ford didn't fix the design problem in the Pinto because it was less costly to pay out the personal injury claims than it was to repair the problem. Ford didn't give a rat's about those severely burned Pinto drivers and passengers... after they got their profits safely banked.

    Shockingly, the American corporate oligarchy are still, 29 years later, trying to gut and cap personal injury claims. Huge payouts are the only thing which will force responsible behaviour on to the greedheads.

    Any politician who advocates caps on personal injury claims is in the pocket of the body corporate- at the expense of your body.

    By Anonymous weez, at 9:07 am, July 06, 2006  

  • ... and the recent push towards for "personal safety" has been diverted towards crumple zones, air bags and 4WD/SUV's ... anything in there about speed caps or shared responsibilities? Pah! Don't be so naive! We gotta drive the kids to school!

    By Blogger cfsmtb, at 4:16 pm, July 06, 2006  

  • and never mind fuel economy. American vehicles are returning, on average, worse results than 30 years ago, in spite of developments in engine design, on-board computers etc etc. SUVs are the main culprit. Why??? every year the marketing buzzwords are "bigger" and "more powerful". Duhhhh. Guess "smaller" and "less powerful" doesnt sit well with your average buyer of a small willy-mobile. :-D

    By Anonymous fatboy, at 3:44 am, July 07, 2006  

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