Saturday, April 02, 2005
Ford Responds To Explorer Roof Concerns
I do think they bring up a great point by stating that the majority of the problems in rollover accidents stem not from structural failures but rather the failure to use safety belts, but I also think it's a bit of a strawman argument that's intended to distract from the issue at hand.
My biggest problem with the whole Crown Vic Police Interceptor ordeal wasn't that the car occassionally suffered from a fuel tank rupture, but rather that Ford refused to accept that there was a real-world failure mode that was not replicated in their testing and thus could not effectively respond to the issue (if you can't admit there's a problem, it's really tough to fix it - eh?). And I'm already picking up some of the same standoff-ish vibe with the roof strength issue.
Despite the fact that society been building cars for a century, we still find failure modes that were not properly comprehended - driving habits change, new types of vehicles bring new problems, and our society's acceptance of risk is a dynamic thing. That's fine - let's fix the problems when they occur, though, instead of hiding behind legal boilerplate.