Thursday, October 5, 2006

More Pinto

The full Pinto memo is here: Download FordMemo.pdf [PDF].  (I obtained it from AutoSafety.org; their version was rather big, so I brought it down to letter-size.)

Some interesting points from it:

First, the authors of the memo are quite cautious in their description of the cost/benefit analysis and its value:

Pinto1_1

They are similarly cautious in their description of the dollar figures allocated to the costs:

Pinto2

(The memo continues with a further description of the cost figures.)

Now, the memo does suggest that the authors believe that the cost/benefit analyses would come out similarly for other "impact modes" (e.g., rear-end collisions):

Pinto3
But even that, let's remember, is in the context of a proposed regulation applicable to fuel systems, and this is a document prepared to address that regulation.  It is not a discussion of tort liability, and the "costs" do not reflect tort costs to Ford, but societal costs.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2006/10/more_pinto.html

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