Firestone and Ford Case Analysis

Topics: Ford Motor Company, Ford Explorer, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Pages: 5 (1465 words) Published: November 2, 2008
I.Introduction: Tire Tread Separation Issue
II.Questions for Case analysis
a.What are the ethical and social issues in this case?
b.Who are the stakeholders and what are their stakes? How do legitimacy, power, and urgency factor in? Do these companies care about consumers? Discuss. c.Conduct a CSR analysis of both Firestone and Ford. How do they measure up in fulfilling their various social responsibilities? d.Who is at fault in the tire separation controversy? Bridgestone / Firestone? Ford Motor Company? The NHTSA? III.Conclusion: Final thoughts

In early 2000, trends of accidents started to occur on Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone Tires. The tire treads on these SUV’s separated while driven at high speeds. This incident caused the vehicle to rollover which resulted in consumer lives lost and serious bodily injury. The question is who should be liable for this incident? Is it the manufacturer of the faulty tires, Bridgestone / Firestone? Is it the manufacturer of the Ford Explorer, Ford Motor Company? Or is it the responsibility of (NHTSA) National Highway Traffic Safety Association who should have promptly investigated and taken action in regards to this issue?

The case of Bridgestone / Firestone and Ford Motor Company began when numerous people coincidently began to experience accidents on Ford Explorers. These vehicles where equipped with Bridgestone / Firestone tires. The people were involved in these accidents due to the treads on the tires suddenly would separate while these SUV’s were driven at high speeds. This would cause the Ford Explorer to lose control and flip. The accident resulted in people seriously injured or killed. One of the victim’s family lawyer, Randy Roberts, helped expose this issue to the public. He discovered key issues regarding this case:

Numerous complaints were successfully kept confidential
Other lawyers had tried to sue Bridgestone / Firestone for its faulty tires •State Farm Insurance received an unusually high number of insurance claims in which the tires were associated

With this evidence, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association suddenly had an interest regarding this case.

What are the ethical and social issues in this case?

The major issues involve Bridgestone / Firestone, Ford Motor Company, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Bridgestone / Firestone produced faulty tires especially those that were manufactured in one of its plants in Decatur, Illinois. The tires that were faulty were said to have been mass produced at the same time its employees were involved in a strike. Bridgestone / Firestone knew about the incidents that involved their products produced in the Decatur plant. They have spent a lot of money to settle claims which involve these faulty tires. They kept the issues confidential and failed to inform the public. This caused numerous accidents to occur and many lives lost. Bridgestone / Firestone instead placed the blame on Ford Motor Company. The SUV involved in this case was a Ford Explorer. It has been argued that the SUV is prone to roll over because of its design. Also Ford Motor Company failed to place the adequate amount of pressure in the tires. Instead of filling the tires with 30 psi it placed on 26 psi. Ford Motor Company also failed in the same manner as Bridgestone / Firestone because they did not quickly take action to resolve this issue and instead pointed the blame back to Bridgestone / Firestone. The public was not informed promptly by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because they stated that tire makers are not legally required to share these types of reports to the public. They said that there needs to be adequate funding to perform its job effectively. Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety, states that the federal government requires companies to surrender adjustment data only after the tragedy...
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