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Ford Pinto Case Review

In: Business and Management

Submitted By texas1331
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Case Review #1: Ford Pinto

• Ford was aware of gas tank defects on their Pinto model
• Ford ignored the safety concerns, positing “safety doesn’t sell” (p. 66)
• Ford based their decision off a cost-benefit analysis o Determined the “cost” of trunk alterations outweighed the “cost” of enhanced safety
• There were over 40 incidents involving Pinto passengers dying or being severely maimed

• Is it morally right to sell a car with known, potentially fatal, defects?

• Ford Motor Company
• Ford Management
• Ford Design Team
• Ford Quality Control
• Ford Pinto Drivers

• Utilitarian Principle: Ford’s decision should have maximized the benefits and minimized the harm for consumers.
• The standard implicit in their decision was that since it was only a minority being injured, and they would reap a significant profit (with a majority of consumers being unaffected) their decision was permissible.
• Potential Consequences by party: o Ford Motor Company – potential public backlash/potential legal action/potential monetary penalties/potential loss of credibility with the public o Ford Management – potential loss of profits to rival manufacturers/potential jail time/potential loss of position/potential loss of credibility o Ford Design Team- potential job loss/potential compensation penalties/potential jail time o Ford Quality Control – potential loss of credibility/potential loss of jobs o Ford Pinto Drivers – potential loss of life/potential injuries or disabilities from vehicle operation
• It would appear that every obligation would UNDERMINE the decision to proceed forward with production of faulty vehicles

• Kant’s “categorical imperative” would be applicable in this scenario
• The action here – allowing potentially fatal vehicles to put into production – would not...

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