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At Ford, Why Wasn't Safety
March 11, 2003 11:30 AM   Subscribe

At Ford, Why Wasn't Safety Job One? "Like other car companies, Ford has consistently fought mandatory increases in fuel economy....by invoking fears that higher mileage requirements would result in smaller, more dangerous vehicles. Safety has been used to beat back fuel efficiency regulations. But Ford's own internal documents and a series of recent court cases reveal a company that is shockingly indifferent to safety risks in the very class of gas-guzzling vehicles it most wants to shield from increases in fuel economy standards...All of this leads us to wonder, if Ford is willing to produce a product it knows will injure and perhaps kill a certain percentage of customers simply to maintain profit margins, does the company really have driver safety at heart when its lobbyists aggressively fight easily-achievable standards for higher corporate average fuel economy?" A new review of internal car manufacturer documents, and more questions about corporate ethics.
posted by fold_and_mutilate (13 comments total)

 
Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
Narrator: You wouldn't believe.
Business woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?
Narrator: A major one.

posted by titboy at 12:02 PM on March 11, 2003


titboy, the first rule of that movie is you don't link to that movie.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:04 PM on March 11, 2003


two words: exploding Pinto.
posted by serafinapekkala at 12:18 PM on March 11, 2003


the second rule of linking to that movie is to whittle the link text down to, oh, say, the most important 25 words or so.
posted by soyjoy at 12:23 PM on March 11, 2003


This is why I drive a Volvo.
posted by UncleFes at 1:59 PM on March 11, 2003


I am mr_crash_davis' complete lack of humour
posted by titboy at 2:37 PM on March 11, 2003


This is why I drive a Volvo

don't be so confident... ford owns volvo :)
posted by bhayes82 at 2:50 PM on March 11, 2003


This is why I don't own a car.

Why isn't safety job one? Because profit is job one. Well, that, and poor fuel efficiency to help their big-oil masters.
posted by benjh at 5:16 PM on March 11, 2003


Ford sucks.
posted by drstrangelove at 7:57 PM on March 11, 2003


Is this Ford something you would have to own a car to know about?
posted by Dirjy at 8:34 PM on March 11, 2003


How about, for once, focusing on the fact that Ford produces LEV and ULEV light trucks? That Ford produces Natural Gas variants of the Ranger pickup and Taurus? That they're about to sell a hybrid version of the Escape at a loss?

Ford has voluntarily adhered to government environmental guidelines years before they were mandated. What has GM or Dodge done?
posted by Psionic_Tim at 2:07 AM on March 12, 2003


That they're about to sell a hybrid version of the Escape at a loss?

The altruism of this is misleading at best. Sure they're going to lose a few hundred on every hybrid Escape. But it's fuel economy rating will allow them to sell 2 or 3 addtional F350 at a nice five figure profit.

You can thank CAFE for the existance of the PT Crusier. Only reason it exists is that Chrysler was able to get it classified as a light truck. Every Crusier, with it's 2.0l engine, they sell allows them to sell 2 addtional Hemi equiped 3/4-1 ton pickups. The fact that is was a run away success was just icing on the cake.
posted by Mitheral at 9:53 AM on March 12, 2003


Where are all the tort reform mavens now that i've got a few points to make?
posted by mygoditsbob at 10:48 AM on March 12, 2003


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