In our last episode of the Top 5 Quality Management System Failures of all time according to Domenic Tramontana, we discuss the Ford Pinto. Most people are familiar with the disaster that was the Pinto. I had heard jokes about it but didn’t really know what was funny. I was shocked when I learned more about the Ford Pinto.
The fact is, Ford knew about their gas tank problem. Not only did they know, they held a patent to a safer tank that OTHER car manufacturers were using in the same size cars at the same time. Furthermore, Ford ran the numbers. At their calculations, it would be less costly to Ford to make the car as it was designed and pay out damages than to redesign the whole car.
Ford really did wrong on this one. Trying to get the car produced before new laws were in place caused them to hurry the production leaving no time for redesign or retooling. Thus, the disaster of the Ford Pinto was created.