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Old 01-10-2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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and is anyone here other than me even old enough to have owned a pinto?
why the hell is someone trying to compare exploding cars that had killed people from years ago to a quirky transmission problem that has done nothing more than left a couple people stranded on the side of the road. pretty assinine comparison.
May as well have done the comparison to apple maps... thats real killer too, just like single use parachutes.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Tom View Post
Suss,

Ford did use a "cost-benefit" analysis. In fact Ford cited their cost-benefit analysis as part of their legal defense (see chart below). Not only that, during testing/development stage, Ford crash tested 11 Pintos, 8 of which had test results which resulted in "potentially catastrophic situations". Basically these were fireballs. Accidents waiting to happen.

I should note however that Ford was cleared of any criminal wrong doing and that no laws were broken. It amounted to a finding by the NHTSA that the cars were deemed unsafe and a mandatory recall was issued on 1.5 million cars. Also it was a huge publicity nightmare, to say the least. Pinto production ended shortly thereafter.

You're probably right about other sub-compacts not being much safer. In general, I think that with very few exceptions safety wasn't at the top of the list for most manufactures. However, the early Toyota's, Datsun's and Honda's didn't have these issues, at least not on the scale of the Pinto. If they did, I think those companies would have faced the same scrutiny and loss of reputation. Another point I think we agree on is, filing criminal (homicide) charges against Ford was unfounded and the result of a well orchestrated smear campaign. As you probably remember the Chevy Corvair suffered a similar fate when Ralph Nader went on the attack. Independent studies eventually cleared the Corvair's name as it was deemed to be on par with other competitors with regard to safety in scenarios where the car is pushed to extremes.

At the end of the day, I think it all came down to a calculated risk for Ford when they produced the Pinto. I'd say, they lost that bet. GM faired much better.

Exhibit One: Ford's Cost/Benefit Analysis
Benefits and Costs Relating to Fuel Leakage
Associated with the Static Rollover
Test Portion of FMVSS 208
Benefits
Savings: 180 burn deaths, 180 serious burn injuries, 2100 burned vehicles
Unit Cost: $200,000 per death, $67,000 per injury, $700 per vehicle
Total Benefit: 180 x ($200,000) + 180 x ($67,000) + 2100 x ($700) = $49.5 Million
Costs
Sales: 11 million cars, 1.5 million light trucks
Unit Cost: $11 per car, $11 per truck
Total Cost: 11,000,000 x ($11) + 1,500,000 x ($ I 1) = $137 Million
From Ford Motor Company internal memorandum: "Fatalities Associated with Crash-Induced Fuel Leakage and Fires." Source: Douglas Birsch and John H. Fielder, THE FORD PINTO CASE: A STUDY IN APPLIED ETHICS. BUSINESS, AND TECHNOLOGY. p. 28.1994.

source: http://www.wfu.edu/~palmitar/Law&Val...ett-pinto.html
The cost benefit analysis was done by the government initially, having set a value on a human life, and you're not even reading what you're posting. The government came up with those figures for what a life was worth not Ford. Ford only used them for their equations.

FMVSS 208 is referring to static roll over, not a rear impact as you are trying to state and trying to state how it relates to the pinto being damaged in a low speed rear end collision.

What part of static roll over means that the car is hit from behind? Oh that's right it doesn't.

Learn the facts before going off half cocked.

I've had to study this case extensively in my engineering ethics course on ethics about corporate and governmental deviance.

Its people like you who make it so easy to blame Ford for everything.

They may have been culpable as far as engineering the vehicle, but the regulators didn't work with the engineers and vice versa, so to say the entire company knew the car was unsafe or knew what this so called cost/benefit analysis said is complete and utter hogwash.

Its this selective choice of facts and mixing in opinion that makes it hard to take what you say seriously.

If a fix for a roll over was the same as the fix for a rear impact then maybe your argument would hold water, but it doesn't.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:15 AM   #13
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and is anyone here other than me even old enough to have owned a pinto?

Me!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by GreenEnvy View Post
and is anyone here other than me even old enough to have owned a pinto?
why the hell is someone trying to compare exploding cars that had killed people from years ago to a quirky transmission problem that has done nothing more than left a couple people stranded on the side of the road. pretty assinine comparison.
May as well have done the comparison to apple maps... thats real killer too, just like single use parachutes.
yup,my first car was a 1974 mustang II. same drive train as the pinto,different body.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:51 AM   #15
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Apples to oranges comparison aside: You'd better believer they're already working on a fix, and are playing smoke and mirrors until that fix exists.

How great would it be for a representative of such a huge corporation to surface and say "Yes folks, there's a problem with the design. The fix is...uhh...uhhh...we'll get back with you on that..."

Yeh, not gonna happen, ever.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:59 AM   #16
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There have been several posts made on this forum where Focus owners have lamented about problems they've experienced with their DCT. A common thread throughout all of these posts is that the vehicle in question has typically been to the dealer several times for the same issue only to be told their car is "operating as normal" or "no problem found." I share these people's frustration because I've been through it before, not necessarily with my Focus, but other vehicles I've owned. This is not an apple to oranges comparison at all as some might suggest. To compare the two cars would be ridiculous. The point I'm simply making is this. It seems that sometimes the only way manufactures take action is when they are pressed to do so, such as the case with the Pinto.

Sure every company uses cost-benefit analysis; that's just good business. Anyone who's ever managed a budget knows that you have to draw the line somewhere, so obviously some features don't make it to production. So that's not what's at issue either. As far as the value of a human life is concerned, I'm not arguing whether the government developed those numbers or an actuary at Ford did. The point here is simply that Ford used the cost-benefit analysis as part of their legal defense. This probably came up because there was testimony from Ford engineers about a modified or redesigned gas tank which had been suggested during development. The cost was estimated at $11.00 per unit. Obviously the cost-benefit analysis precluded the use of this part which is why it wasn't used during production. The fact that there were hundreds of fatalities where the car burst in to flames upon rear impact made national news. The central issue, at least in the court of public opinion and certainly on the jury stands in the civil cases was that, had Ford incorporated the $11.00 part in to the vehicle, perhaps hundreds of lives could have been spared. I think this was more of an ethical issue than anything which is why the courts ruled the way they did in the civil cases. You can argue that a rear end collision might have ended in severe injury or perhaps even death, but that's a debate for another time.

As I mentioned before, Ford had not broken any laws, and they were acquitted of criminal homicide charges. Regardless of the fact that no laws had been broken, hundreds of lives were lost in rear end collisions. That is not a myth, that is reality. That said, the NHTSA deemed the Pinto as unsafe, which is why 1.5 million cars were recalled.

This leads me to my main point. Obviously with so much coverage in the news and complaints from families of victims who lost their lives, it's foolish to think that Ford was unaware that a problem existed. Ford chose to ignore this, essentially asserting "no problem found." Sound familiar? Could Ford have done something sooner to voluntarily recall the cars and retrofit them with a modified gas tank thereby mitigating the damage to their own reputation and save possibly hundreds of lives? Absolutely, yes! Did they? No. Given the extraordinary losses that the company suffered, both financially and to their reputation, I think most would agree it would have been cheaper in the long run had Ford dealt with the issue before they became embroiled in legal battles. How does all of this relate to the Focus? As a Pinto v. Focus comparison it doesn't, except in a very broad general sense. Over time, if the DCT in the Focus doesn't hold up it could potentially become another nightmare scenario for Ford. I've read posts on this forum where some members are on their 3rd clutch or 4th clutch. For a 2012 vehicle that would be unheard of, unless of course the car has been abused in some way. If I recall correctly, I think there's a member on here that had their transmission replaced already. There have been lots of threads lately it seems where people have dumped their cars and traded-in because of the dealer’s inability to fix the problems. I've read at least two threads, by different users who said while driving their DCT had gone out of gear. One of those members narrowly avoided a rear end collision when it happened. I think we can safely assume that the first time somebody is involved in an auto accident as a direct result of someone's DCT going out of gear, you can bet that it's going to end up in the courts. This is the point that I'm making. Should Ford address the issues with the DCT now before it becomes a bigger issue? I think, yes. You might disagree, but that point can certainly be debated.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bleed Blue View Post
You lost me as soon as I read "all manufacturers try to avoid covering warrantable items if they think they can get away with it." Not sure what your background is (automotively speaking), but in the/my service advisor world, we get paid either warranty or customer pay for work. Anything I can "legitimately" bill the manufacturer for, I certainly will. A no problem found is generally a lose/lose deal. That line of thinking runs right up there with people who think cash gets them a better deal buying a new car.
Understood. I think the difference is that while you as the service advisor/dealer may have an incentive to bill whatever you legitimately can collect on, the manufacture holds the purse strings. That I believe is the disconnect. The consumer wants the car fixed, the dealer wants to collect the money for the repair and the manufacturer wants to minimize warranty claims to the maximum extent possible.

As a service advisor, I would be very interested in hearing about your experience with customer complaints about DCT problems and how the manufacturer responded when authorizing the repairs.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:25 AM   #18
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Airplane manufacturers have been doing this for years. The DC-10 is a great study on plane manufacturers and airlines using cost-benefit analysis to determine if they fix a known problem before they're forced to. The real tragedy with that example is that the DC-10's first fix didn't even work...because the bean counters had a say in what the fix should be. The contrast between the DC-10 and the Pinto is that the DC-10 was actually a very good product with the exception of one door lock. Such a small piece brought down such a great plane.

Ford, like Toyota will pull every stunt they can to keep from having to admit a problem with the DCT. Toyota did this with the acceleration issue, just as they did it with the V6 sludging problem, but in the end they wound up paying for both.It's time for Ford to own up to the design issues in the DCT and start their folks working on a fix. With an increasing number of Focuses on the road, with more and more of them passing that magical 12,000 mile mark, things are only going to get more crowded at the service departments. I, for one and glad to be rid of the DCT, and to a lesser extent, the MFT. I don't want to be a part of the problem, or a part of the fix. This could drag out for a very long time.
^THIS!!^ You seem to understand where I'm coming. You captured perfectly the essense of what I'm saying.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #19
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i remember that damn thing LOL I'm 35 we had a bobcat growing up. And yeah I was gonna say you guys are still going round and round about damn pinto's LOL!
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:42 PM   #20
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Dating myself here. My first car was a new 1977 Pinto hatchback. Dark blue with the Starsky & Hutch white stripe from the factory. Oddly enough 28 years later I replaced a 1977 Pinto wagon with my 2005 Focus ST. I would probably still have it around, but smog time was getting to be a real hassle. That and things like A/C, airbags, ABS etc kind of make life a little easier too...lol
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