Ethical Considerations in Pinto Case

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Cost-benefit analysis Pages: 2 (660 words) Published: February 22, 2014
What is ethics? According to the text book, “Exploring Management”, ethics is defined as sets of standards of good or bad, or right or wrong, in our conduct. Ethics is something that is valued differently by each and every one of us, and the degree of ethics we value can have an impact directly on us or on others. The Pinto Case was one where many ethical considerations were overlooked because the company’s profitability weighed more heavily than human lives. It all began when Ford invented the Pinto with the “limits of 2000” and shorter production time to compete with European and Japanese manufactured cars. Due to the cost and weight limit plus the reduction in time, resulted in crash testing that showed a very high percentage of fatal gas tank breaking when rear ended at a low speed. Although the crash test had negative results, it continued its production because the guidelines of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 301 was not yet in effect; therefore, Ford was not in violation of the FMVSS. There were a couple solutions to increase the Pinto’s safeness. The first would be to redesign the tank and its locations, and the second would be a production change to the tank that would cost only $11, but Ford chose to keep its original design because to alter the tank’s design and location would take more time and require more money and Ford wanted to stay within their “limits of 2000”. Another reason to not make any change was corporate believes that safety cars don’t sell, but the most argumentative reason for not making any alterations to the Pinto design was the use of “Ford’s cost-benefit analysis” to compare human lives to redesign cost. The outcome of the analysis shows more benefit to assign a $200,000 life value to a human life rather than making a modification that would cost only $11 per car. Reports of fire and deaths in low speed accidents were being filed but it wasn’t considered a problem because the frequencies were not often. Recalls of...
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