Do you really want to be known as a blowhard? Because that is exactly where your going. Please read the following:
Yes it is long. Articles published in Rutgers publications tend to be. But it proves that the entire Pinto "exploding gastank" was hysteria, completely unfounded.
Every automaker does cost-benefit analysis. If an automaker actually built in safety with no cost benefit analysis then cars would come equipped with brethalizers, speed limters that would prevent the car from going over 35Mph, gigantic foam bumpers front and rear, and so many airbags that if the car hit anything all the airbags inflating would cause the body of the car to explode off of it.
The fact is that the driver behind the wheel has 80% of the control over whether the car gets into an accident or not. The Pinto was a cheap-as-sin car, and purchased by many young 20-somethings who haven't learned to drive safely. So it tended to get banged up a lot. But the study cited - done long after the hysteria died down - showed that the exploding gas tank was a myth.