OT: Ford ordered to pay 369 million
I empathize with her condition but the award is excessive.
Tall objects are tippy and easily pushed over. Short, squat ones are not. It's a matter of simple physics. Heavier cars have somewhat common knowledge as being safer than lighter cars---but I don't recall any direct promoting an SUV as being safer than a car. I believe the trend to SUVs was as a replacement for minivans---larger, more stylish, trendy, not the common next door neighbor possession. I don't think the masses were buying SUVs for the safety.
Ford may or may not have sold/oversold the Explorer's safety, but their credibility was shot once they suggested reduced tire pressures as a means of improving rollover resistance.
It is for this that they should be fined. But not 300+million.
You can't legislate common sense, and you can't changed basic physics. You can't lower the center of gravity without some *serious* design changes. Do you *really* want an SUV with a passenger car's ground clearance? Or do you want to add 2 or 3 thousand pounds of dead weight and hang it low under the vehicle?
As to all the folks who had blowouts followed by rollovers or other accidents---I'd like to know where their hands and eyes were at the time of the incident. I'm not convinced that a blowout on a high center of gravity vehicle will lead to immediate and unavoidable catastrophe. I saw one test of an SUV having a tire remotely deflated. It did not lead to immediate uncontrolled swerving and disaster. Me thinks most of these accidents occured while the operator's were preoccupied with other things in the vehicle and a gross reaction to a minor problem lead to terrible consequences.
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