The Ford Pinto Case

969 Words 4 Pages
In the 1960s, the automotive industry Ford manufactured a new subcompact car known as the Ford Pinto. Although the company produced/sold thousands upon thousands of units, problems were found during the crash tests. The gas tank would be severely fractured and cause the car to be engulfed in flames. In the following I will argue that the Ford Company was not morally permissible in the Ford Pinto case because considering safety in the Ford Pinto’s production could have easily prevented many accidents, endangering people’s lives by rushing the release of the Pinto is unethical, and the refusal to fix the gas tanks despite knowing about its defect is unethical. Several engineers working for Ford had complaints about the production of the Ford …show more content…
People can argue that the cost-benefit analysis shows that the cost for the safety improvements outweighed the benefits, so their reasoning justifies why they did not incorporate safety in the design. Estimate cost for improvements on each Pinto vehicle was $137 million, $11 per vehicle. In terms of monetary analysis, incorporating safety precautions would not favor Ford. There are other ways to make the Ford Pinto safe; for example, before Pinto’s initial release, Goodyear produced a gas tank bladder which cost about $5, this cheap alternative would cost Ford less and could have save the people who died/got injured by the Pinto’s faulty gas tank. By Kantian standards, Ford would be immoral/unethical because they were using people as a means instead of an end by putting monetary analysis to justify their actions, which killed their customers. People can argue that Ford always knew that the Pinto was unsafe and it is the customers who should have asked about how safe the vehicle was. Although the customers should have asked before purchasing the vehicle, Ford should be responsible in the first place to assure their customers at the vehicle was dangerous, instead of being clandestine about it. In addition, their commercial on the Pinto misleadingly made the Ford Pinto look bulky and safe. In a way, Ford was lying about their product, which is also immoral and unethical by the Kantian standards. People can argue that Ford at least recalled the Pinto units for safety improvements estimated at $11 per unit. Their recall prevented more accidents from happening in their time and in the future. Even though they prevented any more injuries/deaths with the recall, Ford would have improved the Pinto in the first place and not only prevented the many injuries/deaths, they could have avoided having their time wasted with dealing with lawsuits. Those lawsuits cost Ford $49.5 million dollars and

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