M6 – McClure

From previous knowledge and a little bit of research, I chose to use one of automotive engineering’s biggest disasters of a vehicle. The ’71-76 Ford Pintos. In 1971, Ford president Lee Iacocca, was trying to get Ford into the subcompact car game. He had an asinine goal of creating a vehicle that was under 2000 pounds, cost less than $2000, and would be manufactured and released within 25 months. By creating these restrictions, the development team had to get very creative with the design of the car. This resulted in the gas tank behind located directly behind the bumper of the car. Directly behind the bumper, there were four protruding bolts; any bumper accident around 30mph would cause them to penetrate the gas tank, resulting in gasoline leaking everywhere. If any metal scraped the ground and created a spark during this process, the Ford Pinto would engulf in flames. Ford was aware of the dangers behind the Ford Pinto before they released the vehicle, they came up with a number of solutions, including having a bladder into the fuel tank. Ultimately they decided to release the Pinto without any of the safety precautions they’d thought of. Not a surprise, Iacocca is famous for quoting “Safety doesn’t sell”. The number of deaths associated with this engineering marvel ranges from 27-180 depending on the source you look at. Ford estimates that only 27 people died as a result of the Pinto, while many other places believe the results are much higher.


Pinto Madness