Gigantic Motors Case Study

Topics: Ethics, Vulcan, Jonathan Archer Pages: 11 (3835 words) Published: June 5, 2012
Travis Johnson
An Explosive Problem at Gigantic Motors
5.1.12

Step I. Understanding the situation

A. List and number the relevant facts.

Statement of Fact Number| Statement of Fact|
1| Jonathan Archer and Zefrem Cochrane are employees of the Rugged Trucks Company, a light truck division of Gigantic Motors Corporation.| 2| Jonathan and Zefrem have been coworkers for approximately one year.| 3| Zefrem tells Jonathan that he would like to talk about something confidential that needs to stay confidential, which Jonathan agreed would stay confidential.| 4| Zefrem’s current project involves repositioning fuel tanks on company truck designs for the new model.| 5| Ten years ago for fifteen years prior, Rugged Trucks’ fuel tanks were mounted outside of the side frame rails of the trucks to protect the tanks in case of a side impact.| 6| Zefrem learned that the former positioning of the fuel tanks on the trucks increased the chances of explosions during side impact.| 7| Safety research of the history of the trucks showed that the outside positioning of the fuel tanks throughout the fifteen-year period led to approximately 50 side-impact deaths and 110 personal injuries.| 8| Rugged Trucks exclusively designed and used the outside positioned fuel tanks.| 9| Approximately 6.3 million of the 10 million Rugged Trucks with outside positioned fuel tanks are still being used.| 10| Zefrem has mixed feelings about the older-designed Rugged Trucks still being used because of the proven hazards associated with them.| 11| Twenty-seven ago, the original plans for the Rugged Trucks included the safest, most fuel efficient, and driver-friendly design.| 12| Gigantic Motors retained Dynamic Motors’ Fuel Development Division to design Rugged Trucks to build a solid long-term reputation of the trucks.| 13| While Dynamic was the designer of the Rugged Trucks, Gigantic had the authority to furnish the design criteria and amend design decisions.| 14| During the original design of the Rugged Trucks, the outside positioned fuel tanks were considered a hazard to side impacts, but Dynamic felt they had designed around the issue by fastening fuel tanks to be thrown off in the event of a side impact.| 15| The Rugged Trucks lacked a fail-safe unlocking system for the fuel tanks, even though the design had indicated the system to be in place was fail-safe.| 16| Due to Dynamic’s design, no other truck was considered as safe in bumper design, rollover-prevention, cabin safety, and other areas, as indicated by a safety record.| 17| During the fifteen-year period with the outside positioned fuel tanks, Rugged Trucks met all federal performance standards and state and federal regulations, including the standard for side-impact crashes.| 18| The Rugged Trucks prior to ten years ago are more vulnerable to fire during a side impact compared to similar vehicles, but they are safer in virtually every other way.| 19| Zefrem spoke with the chief safety engineer, Richard Daystream, about his concerns with the trucks.| 20| Richard Daystream stated that a recall of the older trucks had been considered but deemed as too expensive to conduct in light of the Gigantic’s great safety record.| 21| Zefrem then spoke with the vice president in charge of safety and public relations, Helen Noel, about his concerns.| 22| Helen Noel appreciated Zefrem approaching her about the issue, as she stated that Gigantic encourages employees to be forthcoming with concerns.| 23| Helen Noel stated that the only way to fix the older trucks would be to modify the fuel tanks by building steel cages around the, costing Gigantic $750 million to $1.5 billion.| 24| Helen Noel stated that the cost of fixing the older trucks would damage Gigantic financially and provide bad publicity.| 25| Helen Noel stated that fixing the older trucks would only save 8 lives in the future, according to statistics from the Department...
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