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Ford Pinto

Ford Pinto

The Ford Pinto is a subcompact car that was manufactured and marketed by Ford Motor Company in North America, sold from the 1971 to the 1980 model years. The smallest American Ford vehicle since 1907, the Pinto was the first subcompact vehicle produced by Ford in North America.

The Pinto was marketed in three body styles through its production: a two-door fastback sedan with a trunk, a three-door hatchback, and a two-door station wagon. Mercury offered rebadged versions of the Pinto as the Mercury Bobcat from 1975 to 1980 (1974–1980 in Canada). Over 3 million Pintos were produced over its 10-year production run, outproducing the combined totals of its domestic rivals, the Chevy Vega and the AMC Gremlin. The Pinto and Mercury Bobcat were produced at Edison Assembly in Edison, New Jersey, St. Thomas Assembly in Southwold, Ontario, and San Jose Assembly in Milpitas, California.

Since the 1970s, the safety reputation of the Pinto has generated controversy. Its fuel-tank design attracted both media and government scrutiny after several deadly fires related to the tanks rupturing occurred in rear-end collisions. A subsequent analysis of the overall safety of the Pinto suggested it was comparable to other 1970s subcompact cars. The safety issues surrounding the Pinto and the subsequent response by Ford have been cited widely as a business ethics as well as tort reform case study.


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