Ford Motor Company Pinto Case Study

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Corporations often face ethical dilemmas doing business. It could be firing a worker, making side deals, and gross negligence meaning endangering people’s lives to make a profit. There are various examples of companies and corporations seemingly choosing profits over people, this study is focused on the Ford Motor Company and their vehicle the Pinto. In 1968, Lee Iacocca president of Ford Motor Company was under the gun to develop a sub-compact car to compete with foreign car manufacturer Volkswagen (Dowie, 1977). To get the vehicle ready to sell quickly, he ordered that production chop their timetable down. “The normal time span from conception to production of a new car model is about 43 months. The Pinto schedule was set at just under …show more content…
In this case they began tooling before the proof of concept was completed. Nevertheless, during this process it was discovered that there were safety issues with the placement of the gas tank and there was nothing that could be done as the tooling process had already began. Engineers discovered it due to the placement of the gas tank between the rear differential and the rear bumper; this would leave it vulnerable to damage during a rear end collision. Repeatedly from collisions the tank would rupture and expose gas which would cause the Pinto to go up in flames. If hit in rear at speeds of 40 miles per hour or above, the gas tank would rupture, doors would jam shut. Leaving anyone inside the vehicle unable to exit causing them to be burned alive (Dowie, 1977). The ethical dilemma now presented to Ford was to reevaluate what could be done in development process to prevent these accidents, and to ensure cost was worthwhile for the company. Ford Motor Company estimated the costs to fix all of the defective …show more content…
While he did follow the required procedures, the fact that he did make this information public for seven years stands to admit his own guilt. Though Ford could have proceeded with the formal recall hearing, fearing additional damage to the company's public reputation the company agreed to a "voluntary recall" program” (Ford Pinto, 2018). Researchers don’t believe that either Iacocca or the executives in charge of the Pinto were consciously unethical or that they intentionally sanctioned unethical behavior by people further down the chain of command. They believe that the patterns evident there continue to recur in organizations. A host of psychological and organizational factors diverted the Ford executives’ attention from the ethical dimensions of the problem, and executives today are swayed by similar forces (Tenbrunsel, 2014). I believe from a managerial point of view it’s important to view dilemma from as many points of view as necessary. Often companies make unethical decisions, whether maliciously or not, that choose profits over people. I think any dilemmas that include the potential loss of life or property should have to be regulated. Choosing an outside source that has no stake hold in the company to oversee ethical dilemmas of this

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