Ford Pinto Case

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Janain85
Words 2088
Pages 9
Ethical Perspectives Paper
Part I: Please provide answers to the following: 1. Identify the relevant facts of the Ford Pinto case:
In 1970 Ford introduced the Pinto, a small car that was intended to compete with the then current challenge from European cars and the ominous presence on the horizon of Japanese manufacturers. The Pinto was brought from inception to production in the record time of approximately 25 months, where a normal car usually takes 43 months. This showed an expedited time frame for the Pinto. On top of time pressure the team was also required to follow a limit of 2000, that meaning it could not exceed $2000 in cost and it could not weight more than 2000lbs. When it came to routine crash testing of the Pinto, it was revealed that the Pinto’s fuel tank often ruptured when struck from the rear at a relatively low speed. This was because the fuel tank was positioned between the rear bumper and the rear axle, and when impact was made studs from the axle would puncture the fuel tank, spilling gasoline that could be ignited by the sparks. In crash testing 11 vehicles, 8 of the cars suffered potentially catastrophic gas tank ruptures. There were several possibilities for fixing the problem, but given the restrictions of limit of 2000, they made no changes. The most controversial reason for rejecting the production change was because of Ford’s cost-benefit analysis. Ford believed that the cost of rebuilding the Pinto to make it safer were far more expensive than the cost of life for each fatality. Due to schema, the Pinto was found okay to sell on the market, it was brought up twice for possible recall within Ford, because of cases of serious injuries, but was denied twice and continued to sell on the market. In 1977, an article by Dowie, attacked not only the Pinto’s design, but also accused Ford of gross negligence, stonewalling, and unethical…...

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