Ford Pinto

The case of Ford Pinto

Cost of Repairing Ford Pinto design defect = $11 per car
For 12.5 million cars, cost for increased safety = $ 137 millions

Expense on death = 180 death * $ 200,000
Expense on injury = 180 injuries * $ 67,000
Expense on repair = 2000 vehicles * $ 700

So, Expense of non rectification = $ 49.5 millions

Decision of Ford was to not add the safety feature in Pinto.

Ford actually put a price on human life. Should such calculation be allowed in the first place?

I am in the field of engineering and have been involved in innovation. I earn my bread from being able to develop and sell new products. I do not work on aspects which directly impact safety or security of the human life. However, I am involved in creating utilities which make lives of human being more enjoyable and comfortable.

While, I am in this job, my biggest fortune has been that I have been associated with firms where I have never had to compromise in creating anything but the best prior to its release in the market. If any aspect of our technology has the least negative impact on the human life and/or environment, it has taken back to the drawing board. For me, the business of Engineering is to create utility for the human being. And a utility is a utility only if it is always useful and not anything but for useful. Consumers pay money for safety. People are ready to pay for a well design and thoroughly tested and quality checked pressure cooker because they do not want to lose their loved one under any circumstance.

Even the poorest of the poor do not wish away any of their loved ones. Even the poorest of the poor make all the effort to keep their loved ones alive and always hope for the day when they will thrive. There can be no business at the cost of a human life. Life and death is only the business of The Almighty. Human Beings are not allowed to tread here. History is evidence that every time human being have tried to encroach this area, we have had mass destruction of human lives.

Ford Pinto. Foreground car is a restored examp...

Ford Pinto. Foreground car is a restored example; background is a hot-rodded version with pop-up headlights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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