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From: Al Falfa on 13 Nov 2009 12:20
"hls" <hls(a)nospam.nix> wrote in message
> "Al Falfa" <crop(a)eastforty.fld> wrote in message
>> She parallel parked on a hill in front of a Laundromat. As she was
>> unloading her laundry from the trunk the car rolled back, crushing her
>> into another parked car. A broken bone pierced an artery and she bleed
>> to death. The indicator pointed at Park but the car was not in Park. It
>> was a 70's vintage Ford sedan, probably seven to ten years old at the
> That is a real shame, and I am sorry that this happened to your friend.
> It is hard to guess exactly what may have happened.
> I was taught to park with the wheels oriented so that the curb (if any)
> would provide secondary restraint for the car, to use Park, and to set
> the parking brake as well.
> The parking brake is really not much of a restraint on some cars. The
> transmission Park should be a lot stronger, but the indicator could have
> been off, the pawl could have snapped, or maybe the transmission
> jumped out of park as you say.
> Did her survivors sue Ford?
Yes. The orphaned children received a modest settlement.
From: Steve on 13 Nov 2009 13:35
> "Steve" <no(a)spam.thanks> wrote in message
>> I know that a properly engaged parking brake will hold a vehicle
>> against the force of the engine at idle with an automatic transmission
>> in gear.
> A properly functioning and engaged parking brake has reasonable
> restraining force. (My old 428 Cobrajet would, however, laugh
> at parking brakes).
> A transmission in Park will probably hold more.
Actually the ultimate holding force of a parking pawl is relatively low.
At least on all the automatic transmissions I've had apart. Generally,
the pawl is constructed in such a way (usually with a spring on the
wedge that presses into gaps between a rotating cog and the case) that
it will momentarily disengage when a certain force is exceeded-
presumably to prevent damage from someone accidentally engaging park
> I have never had a Ford
> slip out of Park,
I have. The stories aren't fabrications- some Ford shift detents on some
models of a certain era were very sloppy and wouldn't hold well. The
weight of the column shift lever could drop them into gear when you
slammed the door, for example.
From: Steve on 13 Nov 2009 13:42
Al Falfa wrote:
> "hls" <hls(a)nospam.nix> wrote in message
>> "Al Falfa" <crop(a)eastforty.fld> wrote in message
>>> The engine wasn't running. You know nothing of this accident. Why
>>> pretend that you do?
>> How did the car back over the guy if the engine were not running?
>> Please enlighten
> She parallel parked on a hill in front of a Laundromat. As she was
> unloading her laundry from the trunk the car rolled back, crushing her
> into another parked car. A broken bone pierced an artery and she bleed
> to death. The indicator pointed at Park but the car was not in Park.
> It was a 70's vintage Ford sedan, probably seven to ten years old at the
I'm certainly not trying to minimize a horrible loss. But if the brake
had been properly set, and a front wheel had been properly cramped
against the curb (as is REQUIRED by law in some cities - San Diego comes
to mind) this might not have happened even without the vehicle being in
"park." When parking on a steep hill, I personally don't trust any ONE
mechanism ("park," the parking brake, or cramping the wheel, leaving a
manual trans in 1st or reverse, etc) to protect me. I use all of them
From: Kevin on 14 Nov 2009 11:50
Steve <no(a)spam.thanks> wrote in
> hls wrote:
>> "Steve" <no(a)spam.thanks> wrote in message
>>> I know that a properly engaged parking brake will hold a vehicle
>>> against the force of the engine at idle with an automatic
>>> in gear.
>> A properly functioning and engaged parking brake has reasonable
>> restraining force. (My old 428 Cobrajet would, however, laugh
>> at parking brakes).
>> A transmission in Park will probably hold more.
> Actually the ultimate holding force of a parking pawl is relatively
> At least on all the automatic transmissions I've had apart.
> the pawl is constructed in such a way (usually with a spring on the
> wedge that presses into gaps between a rotating cog and the case) that
> it will momentarily disengage when a certain force is exceeded-
> presumably to prevent damage from someone accidentally engaging park
> while moving.
>> I have never had a Ford
>> slip out of Park,
> I have. The stories aren't fabrications- some Ford shift detents on
> models of a certain era were very sloppy and wouldn't hold well. The
> weight of the column shift lever could drop them into gear when you
> slammed the door, for example.
the shift from park problem was ONLY a problem when the driver did not
make sure the shift lever was down into the park position on the coloum
shift quadrent. every instance that I saw that was a problem was mostly
driver error. they threw the lever into park and often it didn`t drop
into the notch. so the driver said it was in park, but they didn`t fully
engauge the quadrent and so any jar could let it slip out of place. It
might not have been the absoult best design but I contend every one was
driver error. We never had a second complaint when shown and explained
to the customer. problem solved. KB
Protect your rights or "Lose" them
The 2nd Admendment guarantees the others
From: C. E. White on 16 Nov 2009 07:53
"jim" <"sjedgingN0Sp"@m(a)mwt,net> wrote in message
> "C. E. White" wrote:
>> > The facts are clear - Pinto were no more likely to catch on fire
>> > than other vehicles from that era of the same size. Many cars of
>> > that era had gas tank mounted in the same location in the same
>> > manner (for instance my 280Z had a similar tank location). Even
>> > more
>> > modern vehicles have gas tanks mounted in this manner. Late 90's
>> > Jeeps are now being investigated becasue the Ditlow gang is
>> > fishing
>> > for new clients.
> That's all true, but mis-leading. Lots of cars rupture gas tanks on
> end collisions and some of them catch fire. The thing that made a
> relatively minor rear end collision bad with the Pinto was that the
> ruptured gas tank broke through the floor and spilled gas into the
> passenger compartment.
This is not true. Pinto's had a separate rear compartment floor. I
have never seen a claim that the rear floor ruputred. This claim is
associated with some other Fords from the 60's and 70's (Falcon,
Mustang, Fairlane) that used the top of the gas tank as the floor of
the trunk (the so called drop in gas tank design). Pintos did nto use
> Plus the rear end impact had a tendency to jam
> the doors so the passengers were trapped inside with the burning
Also not true - at least in the sense that this was more likely to
happen to Pinto's than other samll cars from that era. I have seenthis
claim associated with Mustangs Convertibles from the 90's, but never
> It also didn't help that it came out in court that Ford had
> all of this in crash tests and had made a cost benefit calculation
> predicted that 100's of people would be burned alive and 1000's of
> would burned but the calculated cost of settling those lawsuits that
> this would produce would be less than the cost of fixing the
> problem. Of
> course this turned out to be a huge miscalculation on their part
> because that bit of information sent the jury awards through the
> and if I recall there even were homicide charges filed.
Also not true. From http://www.car-forums.com/s10/t2240.html :
"More startling, Schwartz shows that everyone's received ideas about
the fabled "smoking gun" memo are false (the one supposedly dealing
with how it was cheaper to save money on a small part and pay off
later lawsuits... and immortalized in the movie "Fight Club"). The
actual memo did not pertain to Pintos, or even Ford products, but to
American cars in general; it dealt with rollovers, not rear-end
collisions; it did not contemplate the matter of tort liability at
all, let alone accept it as cheaper than a design change; it assigned
a value to human life because federal regulators, for whose eyes it
was meant, themselves employed that concept in their deliberations;
and the value it used was one that they, the regulators, had set forth
You have combined several alleged problems from multiple vehicles and
attriuted them all to the Pinto. How typical. I owned a Pinto at the
time of the horror stories, as did my Sister. Ours were recalled to
install extra protection for the fuel system Three things were done:
1) A polyethelyne shield was installed that wrapped under the bottom
of the gas tank. This was supposed to reduce the possibility that the
gas tank might rupture in a severe rear collision. It was claimed that
in some cases the Pinto fuel tank had ruptured when the rear end was
so severely crushed that the fuel tank was forced into contact with
the rear axle. Ford tests showed that this was no more likely with a
Pinto than was the case for many other small cars with similar gas
tank locations, but in the end they were forced to add this extra
2) A longer filler pipe. On a Pinto, the filler pipe fitted into the
gas tank from the side through a rubber grommet. It was alleged that
in the case of a severe rear impact the gas tank and rear fender could
be deformed in such a way that filler pipe would be pulled free of the
tank. The original pipe already extended into the tank by around 8
inches (I know, I removed the tank from my Pinto to get water out of
the tank). I have no idea how much longer the replacement pipe was.
3) The area where the filler pipe was attached to the rear fender was
beefed up. The recall added an extra metal flange to enusre that the
filler pipe would not be torn from the rear fender.
Instead of repeating old, bad, and misleading information, read this -
Here is the main conclusion from that article:
"It is now time to sum up. The strong claim that the Pinto was a
firetrap entails a misconception. To be sure, the Pinto did contain a
design problem that was non-trivial and to some extent distinctive.
Even so, the number of fatalities that resulted from that design
problem is a minor fraction of the fatality estimates relied on by
those who present the "firetrap" characterization.Moreover, when all
vehicle fire fatalities are considered, the Pinto turns out to have
been less dangerous than the average subcompact and only slightly more
dangerous than the average car. Indeed, when occupant fatalities from
all highway causes are considered, the Pinto performed respectably.
Yet even if the general portrayal of the Pinto as a firetrap. should
be rejected as false, a limited core of the firetrap myth seems fair
enough: the Pinto's record in rear-end fire fatalities was not only
much worse than the all-car average but was apparently somewhat worse
than the record of most (though not all) of its subcompact