Ford Motor Company became the first American corporation to be criminally prosecuted when it was charged with reckless homicide. Three girls died in a fire after their Ford Pinto was struck in the rear and burst into flames; their families claimed that the fire was attributable to the Pinto's faulty fuel tank design. Although it was acquitted of the criminal charges, Ford paid damages totaling well over $100 million in civil suits arising from explosions of Pinto fuel tanks; recalled 1.5 million Pintos; and ceased production of the car.
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