An Explosive Problem at Gigantic Motors
Step I. Understanding the situation
A. List and number the relevant facts.
Statement of Fact Number
Statement of Fact
| Jonathan Archer and Zefrem Cochrane are employees of the Rugged Trucks Company, a light truck division of Gigantic Motors Corporation.
| Jonathan and Zefrem have been coworkers for approximately one year.
| Zefrem tells Jonathan that he would like to talk about something confidential that needs to stay confidential, which Jonathan agreed would stay confidential.
| Zefrem’s current project involves repositioning fuel tanks on company truck designs for the new model.
| 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.
| Zefrem learned that the former positioning of the fuel tanks on the trucks increased the chances of explosions during side impact.
| 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.
| Rugged Trucks exclusively designed and used the outside positioned fuel tanks.
| Approximately 6.3 million of the 10 million Rugged Trucks with outside positioned fuel tanks are still being used.
| Zefrem has mixed feelings about the older-designed Rugged Trucks still being used because of the proven hazards associated with them.
| Twenty-seven ago, the original plans for the Rugged Trucks included the safest, most fuel efficient, and driver-friendly design.
| Gigantic Motors retained Dynamic Motors’ Fuel Development Division to design Rugged Trucks to build a solid long-term reputation of the trucks.
| While Dynamic was the designer of the Rugged Trucks, Gigantic had the authority to furnish the design criteria and amend design decisions.
| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| 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.
| Zefrem spoke with the chief safety engineer, Richard Daystream, about his concerns with the trucks.
| 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.
| Zefrem then spoke with the vice president in charge of safety and public relations, Helen Noel, about his concerns.
| Helen Noel appreciated Zefrem approaching her about the issue, as she stated that Gigantic encourages employees to be forthcoming with concerns.
| 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.
| Helen Noel stated that the cost of fixing the older trucks would damage Gigantic financially and provide bad publicity.
| 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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