The 68′ Ford Pinto Case

An interesting read about the 68′ Ford Pinto and the subsequent lawsuits involving this model.

https://users.wfu.edu/palmitar/Law&Valuation/Papers/1999/Leggett-pinto.html

The Ford Pinto case is an interesting read about technological efficiency and how this impacts people’s lives. In brief: the 1968 Ford Pinto had several problems with the fuel tank and its accessories, issues that led to fatal accidents. The company has found solutions to these problems, but a cost/ benefit analysis revealed that it would cost the company $137 million to implement changes versus paying
$49.5 million to accident victims, families, or owners of damaged cars. The cost per car was 11 dollars. The cost of a lost life has been estimated at $200,725.

The lawsuits against the company sparked debates about efficiency vs ethics, allocative efficiency (how much is reasonable for a company to pay in order to being social benefits to a product), (strict) liability and standards of negligence, the ‘balancing’ method to determine liability, liability of the consumer vs liability of the producer and defective products.

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