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View Full Version : Good Read: Lee Iacocca: "Where have all the leaders gone?"


MT1
04-20-2008, 2:24 PM
Food for thought, and a good read - I plan on picking up his book as it has be recommended by quite a few people.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/iacocca.asp

zinfull
04-20-2008, 4:36 PM
I would not spend on penny to help this killer. This is the same ahat that would not put a strap on the Pinto gas tank to keep people from being burnt alive in rear end crashes. Less than a couple bucks could have saved lives but the bottom line was what counted. He even said that it would be cheaper to pay the victims than fix the problem that he caused. They then let him walk away but fined Ford. That bastard should have been sent to prison.

Jerry

HowardW56
04-20-2008, 4:39 PM
Food for thought, and a good read - I plan on picking up his book as it has be recommended by quite a few people.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/iacocca.asp


it is a good book

Scarecrow Repair
04-20-2008, 5:13 PM
I'm surprised he didn't ask for a government guarantee on future profits from the book.

MT1
04-20-2008, 6:29 PM
I would not spend on penny to help this killer. This is the same ahat that would not put a strap on the Pinto gas tank to keep people from being burnt alive in rear end crashes. Less than a couple bucks could have saved lives but the bottom line was what counted. He even said that it would be cheaper to pay the victims than fix the problem that he caused. They then let him walk away but fined Ford. That bastard should have been sent to prison.

Jerry

ok - can you back this up?

zinfull
04-20-2008, 7:47 PM
Yes. You must be young not to remember this. Google

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1658545_1658498_1657866,00.html

http://www.autosafety.org/article.php?did=522&scid=8

Jerry

MT1
04-20-2008, 8:48 PM
I know all about the issue with the Pinto, I don't see how that information can allow you to label Iacocca as a "murderer". Where is the information that you have to show that he was directly involved in a cover-up.... and you loosely quoted him as basically saying that he would allow people to die to save a buck...can you back that up?

Not trying to disprove you, I just like to see a true source before I believe what I read on the internet.

zinfull
04-20-2008, 9:08 PM
Here is a spoon From
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1971-1980-ford-pinto12.htm

Records indicated that Ford had first conducted rear-end collision tests on the Pinto in December 1970, months after it was already in production. Initially, 11 carefully coordinated crashes were conducted, and in all but three of them, gas tanks ruptured and often burst into flames. In the three tests (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/crash-test.htm) that didn't result in fires, the cars had prototype safety devices that engineers had developed while working with suppliers.

Most effective was the use of a rubber bladder/liner produced by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Despite rupturing the exterior of the tank, no fuel was spilled, and no fire resulted. It was estimated that the unit cost of bladders would have amounted to $5.08 per car.

The second method that had been employed was an extra steel plate attached to the rear of the car just behind the bumper, isolating the tank from direct contact during impact. It successfully warded off a blow at 30 mph, helping to keep the tank intact. No company cost analysis was done at the time, but experts felt that this part could have cost up to $11 per car to install.
Engineers found that the majority of the ruptures were caused by two factors: 1) the filler neck breaking off and allowing fuel to pour out, where it could be exposed to an ignition source; and 2) the tank being penetrated by contact with the differential mounting bolts and right shock absorber.

This is where a third successful fix had been devised -- a rather simple plastic insulator fitted on the differential that would keep the bolts from ever making contact with the fuel tank. Cost of this item was less than $1.

Several company memos presented as evidence during the civil trials revealed that these remedies were discussed, with the conclusion that to shut down production and retool would be too expensive. Most damaging to Ford were memos found and published by author/researcher Mark Dowie in the muckraking magazine Mother Jones that detailed a cost analysis of corporate liability in the event of having to compensate crash victims. Experts calculated the value of a human life at around $200,000, while a serious burn injury was worth about $67,000. Using an estimate of 180 deaths and 180 serious burns, someone put on paper that the cost to redesign and rework the Pinto's gas tank would cost close to $137 million, while possible liability costs worked out to around $49 million.

Comparisons were drawn up between the Pinto and the imported Capri that was being sold by Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Both cars were of similar size and construction, but everyone agreed that the Capri's fuel tank was in a much safer location: up and away from the rear bumper, and less vulnerable in a rear-end collision.

Ford engineers argued that to place the tank any higher up in the Pinto would rob the trunk of already meager storage space, and that even a set of golf clubs would have a hard time being squeezed into the leftover space.

Ultimately, 27 people were determined to have been killed in rear-end-crash explosions involving Pintos. In one of the few cases brought to trial, a California jury awarded a boy who had been severely burned and disfigured a total of $126 million. The driver of the car had died from her injuries a few days after the accident.
When the memos regarding the liability assessments were entered into evidence, the case was as good as over. Even after a judge reduced the amount to $3.5 million on appeal, this was far more than the company had ever counted on paying. It was a real wake-up call for Ford, whose legal teams went to work to try and settle as many of the pending cases as possible out of court.

Matters were to get even more serious for the company. In 1978, Elkhart County, Indiana, Prosecutor Michael Cosen*tino called for a grand jury hearing in the case of three girls who had died in a Pinto collision fire. As a result of the grand jury findings, he filed criminal charges of negligent homicide against officials of the Ford Motor Company.
Once again, Ford's corporate legal machine went to work. It was found that the accident had occurred on a stretch of road that was notorious for being dangerous. Then, too, the driver of the speeding van that rear-ended the Pinto was in possession of alcohol and drugs, which were deemed to have contributed more to the accident than anything else.

Ultimately, the trial judge had to dismiss the criminal charges. However, this was another stern warning not only to Ford, but to all of American industry regarding its responsibility for product safety.

Finally, in September 1978, Ford issued a recall for 1.5 million 1971-76 Pinto sedans and Runabouts, plus all similar 1975-76 Mercury Bobcats, for a safety repair. Each car received a new fuel-tank filler neck that extended deeper into the tank and was more resistant to breaking off in a rear-end collision. A plastic shield was installed between the differential and the tank, as well as another to deflect contact with the right-rear shock absorber.

(While not totally immune from the hazards of rear-end collisions, station wagons -- with their 10 extra inches of rear-end sheetmetal and different configuration for the fuel filler -- were deemed far safer, and were not a part of the recall notice.)

Reflecting on the Pinto incident and Ford's attempts to control the damage at the risk of its public image, former Ford exec Lee Iacocca made this summation in his book Talking Straight: "Clamming up is what we did at Ford in the late '70s when we were bombarded with suits over the Pinto, which was involved in a lot of gas tank fires. The suits might have bankrupted (http://money.howstuffworks.com/bankruptcy.htm) the company, so we kept our mouths shut for fear of saying anything that just one jury might have construed as an admission of guilt. Winning in court was our top priority; nothing else mattered. And of course, our silence added to all the suspicions people had about us and the car."

Pvt. Cowboy
04-20-2008, 9:39 PM
I remember Iacocca as the CEO of Chrysler when Jimmy Carter was president.

When he was taken by surprise that America didn't want Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth whale-sized pieces of crap and instead bought thrifty and reliable Japanese cars, Lee Iacocca went waving the 'Merkun flag all the way to Capitol Hill and got them to bail out Chrysler for some 1.2 billion in loan guarantees. Then they invented the god-awful Chrysler K-Car, a shrunken down pint-sized version of the dreadful whaleboats of the '70s and advertised them with a brassy campaign slogan that said 'If You Find A Better Car, Buy It'. Heh, sure.

A few years later, Chrysler managed to get a court to say that they only had to pay back debts to shareholders at pennies on the dollar as well as being able to raid the worker's pension fund while laying off 50% of the workforce. They posted a phony profit of some paltry sum and claimed that they were paying back the loan years ahead of schedule -- which is kinda like you killing half of your pets and then claiming that you doubled the surplus of pet food around your house. Still, that got him on the covers of all the idiot news weeklies like 'Time' and 'Newsweek' that are only read by simple and plain Americans who desperately want other people to think they're smart.

Then Lee Iacocca wrote an autobiography proclaiming himself the smartest senior management executive in the whole world and ran off to retirement with giant bags of loot while the 'reformed' Chrysler kept on making lousy cars no-one wanted to buy.

Even as a 14 year old kid in the early 80s I never understood why America thought of Lee Iacocca as some kind of hero after robbing his employees of billions, paying for it with American tax dollars, producing the ugliest-*** cars imaginable that were so rotten that I would have rather walked than get a free ride in one. I just couldn't comprehend what America saw in a smug jerk with big square glasses and his arms folded across his chest reclining on the hood of the most unreliable ****box deathtrap dork machine ever seen on America's highways.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/Dodge_Aries_sedan.jpg

MT1
04-21-2008, 12:28 AM
Ok. I can see that side of it, but I doubt that he as president made the choices to not upgrade the safety on that car, he just didn't deal with the effects as we would hope he would.

So is president bush a murderer? I'll bet it would take no time to back that one up.






IBTL

zinfull
04-21-2008, 8:43 AM
MT1
If I ever get into major trouble I hope you are on the jury.

from
http://www.fordpinto.com/blowup3.htm

As Lee lacocca was fond of saying, "Safety doesn't sell." Heightening the anti-safety pressure on Pinto engineers was an important goal set by Iacocca known as "the limits of 2,000." The Pinto was not to weigh an ounce over 2,000 pounds and not to cost a cent over $2,000. "Iacocca enforced these limits with an iron hand," recalls the engineer quoted earlier. So, even when a crash test showed that one-pound, one-dollar piece of metal stopped the puncture of the gas tank, it was thrown out as extra cost and extra weight. People shopping for subcompacts are watching every dollar. "You have to keep in mind," the engineer explained, "that the price elasticity of these subcompacts is extremely tight. You can price yourself right out of the market by adding $25 to the production cost of the model. And nobody understands that better than Iacocca." Dr. Leslie Ball, the retired safety chief for the NASA manned space program and a founder of the International Society of Reliability Engineers, recently made a careful study of the Pinto. "The release to production of the Pinto was the most reprehensible decision in the history of American engineering," he said. Ball can name more than 40 European and Japanese models in the Pinto price and weight range with safer gas-tank positioning. Ironically, many of them, like the Ford Capri, contain a "saddle-type" gas tank riding over the back axle. The patent on the saddle-type tank is owned by the Ford Motor Co. Los Angeles auto safety expert Byron Bloch has made an in-depth study of the Pinto fuel system. "It's a catastrophic blunder," he says. "Ford made an extremely irresponsible decision when they placed such a weak tank in such a ridiculous location in such a soft rear end. It's almost designed to blow up premeditated."


Jerry

MT1
04-21-2008, 6:17 PM
MT1
If I ever get into major trouble I hope you are on the jury.

from
http://www.fordpinto.com/blowup3.htm

As Lee lacocca was fond of saying, "Safety doesn't sell." Heightening the anti-safety pressure on Pinto engineers was an important goal set by Iacocca known as "the limits of 2,000." The Pinto was not to weigh an ounce over 2,000 pounds and not to cost a cent over $2,000. "Iacocca enforced these limits with an iron hand," recalls the engineer quoted earlier. So, even when a crash test showed that one-pound, one-dollar piece of metal stopped the puncture of the gas tank, it was thrown out as extra cost and extra weight. People shopping for subcompacts are watching every dollar. "You have to keep in mind," the engineer explained, "that the price elasticity of these subcompacts is extremely tight. You can price yourself right out of the market by adding $25 to the production cost of the model. And nobody understands that better than Iacocca." Dr. Leslie Ball, the retired safety chief for the NASA manned space program and a founder of the International Society of Reliability Engineers, recently made a careful study of the Pinto. "The release to production of the Pinto was the most reprehensible decision in the history of American engineering," he said. Ball can name more than 40 European and Japanese models in the Pinto price and weight range with safer gas-tank positioning. Ironically, many of them, like the Ford Capri, contain a "saddle-type" gas tank riding over the back axle. The patent on the saddle-type tank is owned by the Ford Motor Co. Los Angeles auto safety expert Byron Bloch has made an in-depth study of the Pinto fuel system. "It's a catastrophic blunder," he says. "Ford made an extremely irresponsible decision when they placed such a weak tank in such a ridiculous location in such a soft rear end. It's almost designed to blow up premeditated."


Jerry

lol - up until this quote you just didn't present your case well enough. Now, with this evidence, I will agree with you.
:D