The myth of the Pinto case

by Walter Olson on July 11, 2005

No discussion of the modern litigation system seems to be complete without a reference to the Ford Pinto and the supposed “smoking-gun” memo found in the automaker’s files. As Newmark’s Door observes (Jul. 11), the myth was long ago refuted, but it lives on endlessly in public discussion anyway, perhaps because many fans of expansive product liability find it too good to check. We’ve commented on it a number of times in the past — here, for instance (see final paragraphs).