Ford Pinto Case Study

Topics: Ethics, Ford Pinto, Ford Motor Company Pages: 2 (605 words) Published: January 3, 2011
Ford Pinto Case Study
University of Phoenix
MGT 216
December 21, 2010

Ford Pinto Case
Now more than ever it seems that organizations face ethical or moral dilemmas. The dilemmas that an organization can see are both issues that can be caused by internal or external factors. External issues can be more damaging to the image of an organization. Because of this organizations needs to promptly and properly respond to the issue at hand. In 1971, Ford Motor Corporation faced an ethical issue surrounding the Ford Pinto. During this time executives of Ford made decisions that were considered unethical or immoral. If Ford had had the same morals in 1971 that they do today lives would have been saved. Summary of Case

In the early 70’s the Japanese had started to become a major competitor in the United States. In order for Ford to remain competitive Ford’s CEO Lee Iacocca insisted that Ford roll out a car that cost less than $2,000 and weighed less than two tons. This car was eventually called the Ford Pinto. In order for the Pinto to be cost effective the car was designed and manufactured in 25 months rather than the typical 43 months (De George, 2006). The rush and pressure from Ford corporate to produce this car caused quality and safety issues. The corporate push to produce a car that would appeal to consumers ultimately ended up injuring and costing consumers their lives. From the beginning assembly line workers to the CEO knew that the car had safety issues. Front line Ford employees were not made aware of the decision of the executives to proceed with the Pinto’s production despite the repeat failure of safety test. Ultimately the car was produced and when the Ford Pinto was involved in a rear end crash in the excess of 20 mph the gas tank would explode causing injury, death, or extensive damage to the vehicle. During the 70’s the Ford’s ethics, values, and basic organizational principles varied greatly from today. Ethics and Ford

Despite Ford’s...

References: DeGeorge, R. T. (2006). Business Ethics. In R. T. DeGeorge, Business Ethics (p. Ch. 12 :
Whistle Blowing). Prentice Hall Inc.
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