Premium Essay

Pinto

In: Novels

Submitted By sarmottra
Words 850
Pages 4
Case 10: Ford’s Pinto Fires: The Retrospective view of Ford’s Recall Coordinator
Ford motor company, North America’s subcompact automobile company; design Pinto in 1971 in order to compete with fuel efficient Volkswagen and Japanese imports. Pinto’s major design flaw- a fuel tank prone to rupturing with moderate speed rear-end collisions- surfaced not too long after the Pinto’s entrance to the market. In April 1974, the Center for Auto Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall Ford Pintos due to the fuel tank design defects. As a result of tests performed of NHTSA, as well as the extraordinary amount of publicity generated by the problem, Ford Motor Company agreed to recall Ford Pintos.
Dennis A. Gioia was the field recall coordinator at Ford Motor Company as the Pinto fuel tank defect began unfolding. Gioia responsibilities include the operational coordination of all the current recall campaigns, tracking incoming information to identify developing problems, and reviewing field reports of alleged components failures that led to accidents.

Business Ethics: In the Ford Pinto Case, what moral issues does the Pinto case raise? what is the dollar value of the human life.Business Ethics: In the Ford Pinto Case, what moralissues does the Pinto case raise?

that a car that explodes when hit in the rear can be used to deliver mailBusiness Ethics: In theFord Pinto Case, what moral issues does the Pinto case raise?That businesses should not be putting a value on human life and disregard a known deadlydanger. Ford thought they could get away with a dangerous automobile by paying off thoselawsuits from people who were injured and the families of the dead. Ford thought it was more';cost effective'; not to fix the dangerous condition than to spend the money to save people.

1. What moral issues does the Pinto case raise?
The Pinto case brought up issue of abusing...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Pinto

...Iacocca's specifications for the design of the car were uncompromising: "The Pinto was not to weigh an ounce over 2,000 pounds and not cost a cent over $2,000." During design and production, however, crash tests revealed a serious defect in the gas tank. In crashes over 25 miles per hour, the gas tank always ruptured. To correct it would have required changing and strengthening the design. Many studies of reports and documents done by Mother Jones on rear-end collisions involving Pintos reveal that if you ran into that Pinto you were following at over 30 miles per hour, the rear end of the car would buckle like an accordion, right up to the back seat. The tube leading to the gas-tank cap would be ripped away from the tank itself, and gas would immediately begin sloshing onto the road around the car. The buckled gas tank would be jammed up against the differential housing (that big bulge in the middle of your rear axle), which contains four sharp, protruding bolts likely to gash holes in the tank and spill still more gas. Now all you need is a spark from a cigarette, ignition, or scraping metal, and both cars would be engulfed in flames. If you gave that Pinto a really good whack?say, at 40 mph - chances are excellent that its doors would jam and you would have to stand by and watch its trapped passengers burn to death. In pre-production planning, engineers seriously considered using in the Pinto the same kind of gas tank Ford uses in the Capri. The Capri tank......

Words: 682 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Pinto

...In the case of the ford pinto Lee Iacocca wanted to produce a car to meet with the competition of the Japanese market. The car was to be designed and produced in a condensed time 25 months vice the 43 which would have been the usual. Ford motor company completed the task. At the time there was not a standard from the national highway traffic safety committee as to a rear-end impact, that requirement was not in place until after production. I find Ford was not acting un-ethical in the design and production of the vehicle. The un-ethical part of the event started at the point when the rear-impact test was performed and it was found that the pinto was not up to par. Ford was on the correct path as to the testing of the pinto. There will always be a new regulation in any process of production. Any company has an ethical and moral obligation to meet or want to exceed regulations as to quality of a product. Understanding there will be a cost analyst as to procedures in production, cost of materials and life expectancy of the “product”. Further explanation here as to procedures the production of the product may need to be weighed as to the best economical or the requirements of inspection points during the process, next the needed quality of materials as if to manufacture a dish with a non-toxic finish for food use. And the most confused life expectancy of the product, whether it be a car or a prosthetic hip joint. In an article from NBCNEWS Herb Weisbaun found that consumer......

Words: 1022 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Pinto

...THE PINTO CASE A SHORT SUMMARY In the early 1960s Ford’s market position was being heavily eroded by competition from domestic and foreign manufactures of subcompacts. Lee Iacocca, then President of Ford, was determined to regain Ford’s share of the market by having a new subcompact, the Pinto, in production by 1970. Then Ford engineers crash tested an early model of the Pinto. They found that when the automobile was struck from the rear at 20 miles per hour, the gas tank regularly ruptured. Stray sparks could then ignite the spraying gasoline, engulf the car in flames and possibly burn the trapped occupants. Nonetheless, Ford management decided for several reasons to go ahead with production of the Pinto as designed. First, the design met all applicable federal laws and standards then in effect. Secondly, the Pinto was comparable in safety to other cars being produced by the auto industry. Third, an internal Ford study indicated that the social costs of improving the design outweighed the social benefits. According to the study it was estimated that a maximum of 180 deaths might result if the Pinto design were not changed. For purposes of cost/benefit analysis the Federal government at that time put a value of $200,000 on a human life. Consequently, the study reasoned, saving 180 lives was worth about a total of $36 million to society. On the other hand, improving the 11 million Pintos then being planned would cost about $11 per car for a total investment of......

Words: 727 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Ford Pinto

...the Ethical Dilemma in the Ford Pinto Case On August 10, 1978 three young girls died in a 1973 Ford Pinto after being stuck from the rear by a driver in a van. The Ford Pinto was completely engulfed in flames and the accident resulted in the death of the three young girls. Today, the debate continues regarding whether or not The Ford Motor Company was responsible for this case and many other cases involving the Pinto bursting into flames resulting in disfigurement or death. Ford has argued for over three decades that The Ford Motor Company is not at fault, but rather the other motorists who happened to rear end the Pinto drivers. Many accuse Ford of rushing the Pinto into production without proper testing leaving a faulty fuel system in the car that would rupture with any rear end collision or rollover accident; this resulted in the deaths of over 500 people. Many also accuse Ford of being fully aware of the faults with the Pinto and selling it to the public anyway. Letting the people die because of the Pinto and settling with their families was more economical than recalling the vehicle and fixing the shortcomings of the Pinto. The question remains regarding whether or not Ford put a price on human lives, or if the company was not at fault for simply trying to compete with foreign car companies to put an American made fuel efficient vehicle on the road. Ford was accused of not accounting for benefit and harm in an ethical business decision, zero personal evaluation, and...

Words: 323 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Pinto Fires

...Acting as a recall coordinator would by no means be an easy task. However, if I were to put myself in that role, here is what I believe I would do following the eight-step method to ethical decision making. The first step is identifying the relevant facts. In the Pinto Fires Case, I believe there are six large facts that are the most relevant to determining whether a recall is the appropriate course of action. The first fact is that Ford Motor Company discovered the issue before the Pinto was released. With many recalls, the issues are not discovered until after the products in question are released, but Ford knew about this major issue and released the car anyways. The second crucial fact builds off the previous one – Ford knew how to fix the issue. They had found three possible solutions through their testing, but did not implement any of them. The third relevant fact is that Ford had shortened their amount of preparation time to release it earlier. This was something that had never been done before, so the fact that they cut down the amount of time they were spending on preparing this car by over a year was a recipe for disaster. The fourth fact to consider is the fact that Ford Motor Company was within the legal standards at the time. While Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 301 had been proposed, it had not been adopted, so Ford’s move was legal. Furthermore as the fifth fact, in the 1970s, consumers were not nearly as concerned with safety. In fact, Ford......

Words: 1313 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Pinto Fires

...Identify five Relevant Facts * At its time of release, the Pinto met the required standards. * I received field reports suggesting Pintos were susceptible to “exploding” in rear-end collisions at speeds under 25 miles per hour. * Last year in San Bernardino, California a neighbor of 13 year old Richard Grimshaw’s gas tank ruptured, causing the car to burst into flames. The neighbor did not die from impact, but was killed in the fire. Grimshaw suffered third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body. * The projected costs for 180 burn deaths ($200,000 x 180), 180 serious burn injuries ($67,000 x 180), and 2,100 burned vehicles ($700 x 2,100) is $49.5 million. * Crash-test reports show that eight of the eleven Pintos tested with an average 31 mile per hour rear end collision failed fuel leak tests with the standard fuel tank. The 3 that survived the leak test because special measures were taken to prevent tank rupture or fuel leakage by using a plastic baffle between the axel housing and the gas tank, a steel plate between the tank and the rear bumper, and a rubber lining in the gas tank. * An $11.00 safety improvement on 11 million cars and 1.5 million trucks will cost a total of $137.5 million. 2. Identify ethical issues using both a deontological AND a consequential perspective. From a deontological approach, the rights of Ford Motor Company would conflict with those of people involved in the Pinto fires. An individual has the right to health and......

Words: 1035 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Ford Pinto

...In the 1970’s the Ford Motor Company produced a Ford Pinto that they deemed reasonable to sale to their consumers in order to make a maximum profit. However, the car they hurriedly produced lacked some safety features that ended up costing numerous people their lives. Ford knew about these problems but continued with the production anyways; therefore, Ford is responsible for the death of the people who were killed in the accidents in the Ford Pinto because of their faulty parts. In this case, Ford should have fixed their cars before producing them and letting the automobile industry get their hands on them. The stakeholders in this particular case would have been the people who had invested in the Ford Company and any employees in Ford, particularly...

Words: 552 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Ford Pinto

...Ford's Risk/Benefit Analysis The main controversy surrounding the Ford Pinto case was The Ford Motor Company's choices made during development to compromise safety for efficiency and profit maximization. More specifically, it was Ford's decision to use the cost/benefit analysis detailed in section 11 to make production decisions that translated into lost lives. During the initial production and testing phase, Ford set "limits for 2000" for the Pinto. That meant the car was not to exceed $2000 in cost or 2000 pounds in weight. This set tough limitations on the production team. After the basic design was complete, crash testing was begun. The results of crash testing revealed that when struck from the rear at speeds of 31 miles per hour or above, the Pinto's gas tank ruptured. The tank was positioned according to the industry standard at the time (between the rear bumper and the rear axle), but studs protruding from the rear axle would puncture the gas tank. Upon impact, the fuel filler neck would break, resulting in spilled gasoline. The Pinto basically turned into a death trap. Ford crash tested a total of eleven automobiles and eight resulted in potentially catastrophic situations. The only three that survived had their gas tanks modified prior to testing.55 Ford was not in violation of the law in any way and had to make the decision whether to incur a cost to fix the obvious problem internally. There were several options for fuel system redesign. The option most......

Words: 428 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Ford Pinto

...Under the leadership of Ford CEO Lee Lacocca, The Ford Pinto Company introduced in 1971 in Canada, and later in U.S, had reputation as being the safety pioneer in the automobile industry. But was trouble impending, the car did not pass on the test, meaning that it failed bellow the state of the art for cars of that size. The design of the car flaws in its Pinto model could cause the car to burst into flames even in minor rear-end collisions. At the time there was no National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rear-end impact standard. Understandably American automobiles were losing market share in the 1960’s due to cheaper Japanese imports. Smaller, cheaper, better gas mileage, and lighter all meant better value to the consumers. Competition is suppose to fuel innovation and help make better products with smilier or better value. In this case Lee Iaccoca did not make a better product. Iaccoca wanted to simply compete and with the Japanese imports. In 1971 The Ford Pinto was made and produced in a accelerated fashion, so it was designed and produced in 25 months rather than the 43 months that it should have taken. Truth to be told it was a decent design it weighed under 2000 pounds and it cost less then 2000 dollars. The only really down fall was the rear-end design the Pinto was not really tested for rear-end impact, and when Ford engineers testing the rear-end impact for standard safety procedure the car failed the test. To make matters worse the rear-end......

Words: 1779 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Ford Pinto

...THE FORD PINTO CASE: THE VALUATION OF LIFE AS IT APPLIES TO THE NEGLIGENCE-EFFICIENCY ARGUMENT Christopher Leggett Law & Valuation Professor Palmiter Spring, 1999 Abstract Text of Paper Abstract The cases involving the explosion of Ford Pinto's due to a defective fuel system design led to the debate of many issues, most centering around the use by Ford of a cost-benefit analysis and the ethics surrounding its decision not to upgrade the fuel system based on this analysis. ISSUE Should a risk/benefit analysis be used in situations where a defect in design or manufacturing could lead to death or seriously bodily harm, such as in the Ford Pinto situation? RULE There are arguments both for and against such an analysis. It is an economically efficient method which has been accepted by courts for numerous years, however, juries may not always agree, so companies should take this into account. ANALYSIS Although Ford had access to a new design which would decrease the possibility of the Ford Pinto from exploding, the company chose not to implement the design, which would have cost $11 per car, even though it had done an analysis showing that the new design would result in 180 less deaths. The company defended itself on the grounds that it used the accepted risk/benefit analysis to determine if the monetary costs of making the change were greater than the societal benefit. Based on the numbers Ford used, the cost would have been $137 million versus the $49.5......

Words: 9256 - Pages: 38

Free Essay

Ford Pinto

...moral theory.  And if you'd like to blog on anything in the news send it to me - I'd be delighted to read it and - if it fulfils the criterion of good ethical thinking (!), post it!!!!! Utilitarianism is a normative, consequentialist, empirical philosophy which links the idea of a good action to one which promotes maximum pleasure or happiness, found by adding up costs and benefits (or pains and pleasures). It has two classic formulations - Bentham's hedonistic (pleasure-based) act utilitarianism and Mill's eudaimonistic (happiness-based) rule utilitarianism. In this article we make some preliminary comments on Bentham and Mill before analysing a famous case in 1972 where utilitarian ethics seemed to cause a very immoral outcome - the Ford Pinto case. Click here for a powerpoint presentation on the same subject...

Words: 2307 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Ford Pinto

...Running head: FORD PINTO CASE STUDY PAPER Ford Pinto Case Study Paper Learning Team B University of Phoenix MGT /216 Organizational Ethics and Social Responsibility SB09BSB10 Leatricia Cash June 2, 2010 The ethical issues surrounding Ford Motors in regard to the company’s production and release of the Ford Pinto brought the integrity of the organization into question by internal and external shareholders in the 1970s (Engineering.com, n.d.). Understanding the various ethical dilemmas faced by personnel who helped with the design and build of the Pinto provides clarification as to why the organization’s reputation as a quality supplier of automobiles was put into question by consumers. Analyzing the Ford Pinto Case Study, the following information will contain an outside viewpoint in regard to the Ford Pinto case that will illustrate viewpoints on the issue based off personal perspective. A recommendation on dealing with the issues Ford Motors faced with the Pinto are provided to illustrate the ethical approach Ford could have used during the production phase and after the vehicle entered the consumer market. The recommendation will be backed by examples of external and internal social pressures that have influenced the decision to recall the Ford Pinto. In addition, the evaluation of this case during 1971 and in current day is illustrated in the readings to compare and contrast the situation based on the...

Words: 964 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Ford Pinto

...The Ford Pinto Case In the late 1960’s Ford Motor Company wanted to produce a small model car to compete with small Japanese and German imports like Volkswagen, Datsun and Toyota (Danley). In 1969 Ford’s Board approved the plan to produce the Pinto. The CEO, Lee Iacocca, wanted a car that was low weight, under 2,000 pounds, and low cost, under $2,000. Lee “Iaccoca imposed the 2000/2000 rule, i.e., the Pinto could weigh no more than 2000 pounds and cost no more than $2000” (Danley). The engineers had about two years to design and manufacture a product. The 1971 Pinto went into production in 1970. The quick turnaround of the Ford Pinto was huge as the normal time frame to bring a new product to market was about three and a half years. Due to the quick design and production of the Ford Pinto, the car was not put through the normal tests until after production. When put through the rear-end test, it was determined to be below normal standards for cars of that size. For cars of this size, the standard was to place the fuel tank above the rear axle. However, Ford felt placing the gas tank above the rear axle didn’t leave enough trunk space. Therefore, the fuel tank on the Pinto was placed behind the rear axle, close to the back bumper. The design was such that if the car was impacted from the rear at 20 miles per hour or greater, a bolt would puncture the tank and possibly cause the car to erupt in flames. Ford Motor Company was determined to continuing......

Words: 1100 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Pinto Case

...Ford Pinto: A Study of Ethics In the 1960s Ford Motor Company, under pressure from stakeholders and the pressures involved in competing with the foreign vehicle market set out to manufacture a vehicle that was smaller, lighter and less expensive than the competition’s product. This vehicle was designed and moved into production within 2 years, much quicker than the 3 ½ year company norm and is still the shortest vehicle production planning schedule in history. The result: The Ford Pinto. While the Pinto was in the design phase it was decided that the fuel tank would be placed under the rear fender instead of over the rear axel to allow for more trunk room in the car. This design however, was quite flawed. The Pinto being smaller than the other American made cars was not built using the same frame design; a design that was manufactured to prevent the fuel tank from exploding upon a rear impact collision. Upon testing a serious defect was found with the placement of the fuel tank. It was determined that if the Pinto was involved in a rear end collision the fuel tank may rupture and burst into flames causing serious injury or death to the passengers. Team A will be examining the ethical dilemmas involved in the case and the solutions that we would recommend today and the solutions that would have been ethically appropriate in 1971. Lee Iacocca was the president of Ford Motor Company in 1971 and was the directive authority behind the creation of the Ford Pinto. He wanted a...

Words: 1776 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

The Ford Pinto

...Alvin M. Panganiban Sir. Sammy P. Pagaduan MBA-1 Business Ethics Case Study: The Ford Pinto 1. What moral issues does the Pinto case raise? Answer: The Pinto case raise moral issues in human rights because even there were various ways of making the Pinto’s tank safer they refused technical improvement to prevent gas tanks from leaking. Given that number of people killed by fires from car, how they can value those individuals’ lives? Ford officials decide not to push the modification of the cars because it will be costly for them and not considering human’s life. 2. Supposed Ford officials were asked to justify their decision. What moral principles do you think they would invoke? Assess Ford’s handling of the Pinto from the perspective of each of the moral theories discussed in this chapter. Answer: With the use of risk/benefit analysis required by NHTSA, Ford officials justified in its decision not to change the Pinto model to increase vehicle safety, not considering the balance outlook on company’s perspective and human safeness. The moral principles that should invoke Ford officials is the act utilitarianism because this approach evaluates each action separately and the consequences that arise including any harms and benefits incurred by any people involved in the case. 3. Utilitarians would say that jeopardizing motorists does not by itself make Ford’s action morally objectionable. The only morally relevant matter......

Words: 527 - Pages: 3