I still respectfully disagree. The Pinto tanks were of no different of a design than anything else on the market at the time. The problem was a fatality lawsuit which drew attention to it.
The numbers are fuzzy but I seem to remember that Ford manufactured well over 3 million Pintos and there were something like 25 deaths attributed to fires in Pintos. However, that number of deaths were not all due to rear end collisions. They involved frontal and side impacts and so on.
Odds are if the fatalites/injuries due to fires caused by rear end collisions were figured on a per 100k cars basis one would find that the Pinto was no more unsafe than any other car on the road.
The lawsuit and the “Pinto Memo” just tarnished things way more than was deserved.
When I worked for Nissan an older 280 ZX was towed in once with moderate fire damage in the rear after being rear ended. Does that mean the Z cars are dangerous? Not in my opinion, but what would have happened if 3 people had been killed in that car and a lawsuit filed in the same manner as the Pinto suit? There would have been memos circulating around Nissan/Datsun corporate headquarters also about how to skate around things.