Learning Team Assignment: Case Study Discussion & Executive Summary

Topics: Ford Motor Company, Ford Pinto, Business ethics Pages: 4 (1414 words) Published: October 19, 2010
Learning Team Assignment: Case Study Discussion & Executive Summary MGT/216

University Of Phoenix

Learning Team Assignment: Case Study Discussion & Executive Summary

In 1968 the Ford Motor Company decided to introduce a new subcompact car to compete with foreign imported vehicles in the subcompact category. The Vice-President of Ford at the time Lee Iacocca felt that in order to grab a larger share of the market Ford must remain competitive and a decision on putting money before human lives.

The Ford Motor clearly exercised poor ethics, the studies that Ford conducted showed a clear flaw with the gas tank in the Ford Pinto, and the gas tank had a propensity for rupture from rear impact at very low speeds. The lack for social responsibility escalated to new heights in this case where Ford was the first company to be brought up on criminal charges for murder, due to their negligible behavior.

The Pinto was rushed in record time from planning to production in order to meet the expectations of Ford’s new President Lee Iacocca, and put in showrooms about a year and a half faster than vehicles in the 1970s. Ford conducted crash test and became aware of the problem with the Pinto’s gas tank, yet their concern with keeping cost down below two thousand dollars per vehicle kept them from making a simple eleven dollar modification to the gas tank and bumper that would have corrected the problem.

The severity and gravity of Ford’s negligence was made clear by their repeated statements “safety doesn’t sell” demonstrating the culture and sentiment from Lee Iacocca that cost was more important than human life. A cost analysis further drove the point home; Ford conducted a Risk/Benefit analysis that showed that Ford’s break-even point would be five dollars and eight cents, which is much less than the eleven dollars required making the Pinto a safer vehicle to consumers (Leggett, 1999).

Ford displayed a gross negligence for human life to a criminal extent....
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