Case of Ford Pinto

Topics: Ford Pinto, Ford Motor Company, Ford Mustang Pages: 3 (998 words) Published: August 26, 2013
1. Amy B. Perrault Individual Assignment | Number One MBA605 – Business Ethics & Social Responsibility | Jan Ruder, Ph.D. November 11, 2007 2. It’s 1973 and I am the Recall Coordinator for Ford Motor Company. Field reports are coming in reporting the following: Rear-end collisions, Fires, and Fatalities. I must decide whether to recall the Pinto. (Case: Pinto Fires, Trevino & Nelson, p. 115) 3. Before the Pinto, Ford was immersed in an intense, internal struggle between “Bunky” Knudson and Lee Iacocca over the company’s product line. ● Major pressure to compete with German & Japanese compact cars. Iacocca and the compact car won the struggle. ● The Pinto debuted in 1971 after the shortest (the most rushed) production in history. Ford is fully aware of the faulty fuel tank design; crash testing after debut revealed the fuel tank often ruptured during rear-end impact. ● In Ford’s opinion, it is too late (or rather too costly) for redesign. The company’s president, Iacocca, insists: ● Keep the original gas tank design; costs need to be kept down for the “cost conscious” Pinto buyer. ● Besides, “Safety doesn’t sell.” Colleagues, other Ford engineers, agree with Iacocca’s opinion about the faulty gas tank, “Safety isn’t the issue, trunk space is.” Reports show, “The Cost of Dying in a Pinto” outweighs the benefits by almost three times. ● $137.5 million cost vs. $49.5 million benefits. 4. The Pinto’s production was rushed and mistakes were clearly made: Do I ignore the field reports coming in? Do I recommend changes to current production? Do I recommend a total recall? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards, the Pinto meets safety requirements. However, reports are not bumps and bruises, the reports are fatal explosions. I am the Recall Coordinator – I was hired to determine when a product is too dangerous to the public due to defect and needs to be returned to the factory. Which obligation comes first – my obligation to...
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