Ford Pinto

PintoThe Ford Pinto is a subcompact car produced by the Ford Motor Company for the model years 1971–1980. Initially offered as a two-door sedan, the Pinto added hatchback and wagon models the following year. With over 3 million sold over a 10-year production run, the Pinto competed in the U.S. market against the AMC Gremlin and Chevrolet Vega — outproducing both by total production as well as by highest model year production. The Pinto also competed against imported cars from Volkswagen, Datsun, and Toyota.

A rebadged variant, the Mercury Bobcat, debuted in 1974 in Canada and in March 1975 in the US.[3] The Pinto/Bobcat and the smaller, imported Ford Fiesta were ultimately replaced by the front-wheel-drive Ford Escort and Mercury Lynx. Pintos were manufactured in St. Thomas, Ontario; Edison, New Jersey at Edison Assembly; and in Milpitas, California at San Jose Assembly.[4]

The Pinto’s legacy was affected by media controversy and legal cases surrounding the safety of its fuel tank design, a recall of the car in 1978, and a later study examining actual incident data that concluded the Pinto was as safe as, or safer than, other cars in its class.[5]

The nameplate “Pinto” derives from the term for the distinctive white and solid pattern of coloration common in horses.

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