Ford Pinto Case

Topics: Ford Motor Company, Ford Pinto, Ethics Pages: 3 (937 words) Published: May 19, 2010
Varun Patel
Philosophy 131
Michael F. Martin
The Ford Pinto Case and Utilitarianism
In this essay, I will talk about the ford Pinto case, and how the information was withheld from public in order to save company from huge losses and at the same time keep company’s reputation intact. I don’t think the decision of the ford company to with hold the information about the safety-issue of the car for which they were already aware of; was the right thing to do. I agree, as a utilitarian the only thing in my mind should be to evaluate the issue solely by utility in providing happiness, general welfare or pleasure as summed among all sentient beings. The basic ethical principle of this theory is of consequences, weighing them up to determine how every person involved in any event, issue, proposal, project and so forth, would be affected.  The aim in doing so would be to decide on a morally right action, one that would result in the greatest overall positive consequences for everyone. So every aspect must be examined to evaluate potential good and bad outcomes; if the goods outweigh the bads, then morally, the action can be deemed right.  If there are more bad consequences predicted, then the opposite applies. A utilitarian should evaluate the situation based on long term as well as short term consequences. Although the ford management knew the design flaws; still the design was approved which shows that they ignored the greatest overall utility benefit. The management had just aimed to design a car which could be sold at competitive prices by keeping lowest costs regardless of the safety of the passengers. If the case is evaluated on the basis of long term consequences, the information about the issue regarding the safety was going to come out sooner or later. That is directly going to affect company’s reputation throughout the world as a car manufacturer. I believe that even for designing an economic car the safety standards should be carefully...
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