Thursday, October 17, 2019

Research Paper Lawsuits Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Lawsuits - Research Paper Example Yet it would not be long before the Pinto was everything but amusing to Ford Motor Company. There had only been twenty-nine months between Iacocca’s decision to manufacture the car and its introduction for sale. That is a very short time in the design and manufacture of an automobile, as the average timeframe is usually between four and five years. Yet the race was on, and as a result, design flaws were no doubt inevitable. And there was a flaw on the Pinto: the gas tank was placed behind the rear axle, making it extremely vulnerable to rear collisions. Some would later call the car a rolling bomb. Thirteen year old Richard Grimshaw found this to be an all too painful fact. On May 28, 1972 in San Bernardino, California, the boy was a passenger in a 1972 Pinto that was hit in the rear by another car. The Ford burst into flames, the driver was killed, and Grimshaw suffered burns over ninety per cent of his body. His family and the driver’s heirs filed suit against Ford (C raig, â€Å"Grimshaw and Grays..†). In 1978, the jury awarded Grimshaw $2.8 million in compensatory damages, which is not shocking considering the by then the young man had suffered through over seventy surgeries. Yet the surprise of the verdict was the fact he was awarded $125 million in punitive damages, a record breaking award that based on 2012 dollars of $440 million would be astronomical even in today’s tort happy environment. The case was eventually settled for something over six million dollars (Dunn, 2000). II. Risk Management for Lawsuit Prevention It was not the fact that the Pinto was inherently dangerous in its design that inflamed the Grimshaw jury; it was Ford’s own greed. The Company knew about the flaw as early as the pre-production stage, yet had issued what was referred...Ford could have saved all of the headaches it wound up if it had only instituted the tiny eleven dollar modification to the car during the design process. Iacocca was never t old about the flaw and probably did not want to hear about it, insisting the car be 2,000 pounds and sell for $2,000. Yet later he said in his autobiography that â€Å"Honesty is the best technique I use†. He also said something that was chilling, that one should be willing to sacrifice to accomplish his goals. In the Grimshaw case, Ford would have been well-advised to try to settle the suit way before the trial. Perhaps they did, for a ludicrous sum. As far as the car itself, Ford kept it around for nine years, but shortly after the criminal case concluded, the Pinto slid into the history books with over two million units sold. Ford probably eventually made a profit with the car, but it is continually on everybody’s â€Å"worst cars ever† list. Yet it should also be noted that its chief competitor, the Chevy Vega, also appears on those lists, mainly for reliability issues.

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