The Pinto: The Ford Pinto Case

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Looking for a car to compete with foreign imports, Ford Motor Company sought a lightweight and inexpensive automobile to address the market share they were losing to their foreign competition. Therefore, Ford Motor Company developed a 1971 model named the Ford Pinto to answer gaining back market share against the foreign automakers. In order to roll it out on time, Ford Motor Company would need to cut the design and production period nearly in half of a normal schedule. Due to the fast-tracked timeline, the Pinto went through the testing phase after the production of the car. Unfortunately, Ford discovered, during the testing, there was an issue with the placement of the gas tank if the Pinto endured a hit on the rear bumper at speeds greater …show more content…
The decision on whether to move forward with the existing design directly affects Ford Motor Company. Will customers find the car desirable if Ford redesigns the trunk to fix the issue? Ford complied with the laws and regulations of that time, and they were quickly losing the market share to foreign car manufacturers. It was most likely the result of changing the length of the schedule causing the company to test the car’s safety after production. Based on the regulations of that time, Ford believed they were compliant with the law. If Ford pushes back the production schedule to fix the design flow, they most likely miss the window to gain some of the subcompact market and lose money to the bottom line. As for Lee Iacocca, he benefited from rolling out this car on schedule. It would not only benefit him professionally, but personally in monetary form. This action would also affect the customers that purchased the Ford Pinto. Despite the low price for an American made car, would a customer purchase the car knowing that it had a possibility of bursting in flames if hit on the rear bumper during a collision? Alternatively, perhaps the customer would weigh the excellent price against the risk for adequate transportation. Severe burns or death is a potential consequence for those purchasing this car. Is it worth this risk …show more content…
“Additionally, we cannot know all of the consequences of a particular act nor can we know in advance many of the specific consequences” (DeGeorge 48). After making the initial decision, it may have been a different outcome if Ford changed the design after the first year or offered customers an option to purchase the baffle. The jury may have acquitted Ford of any criminal charges, but they paid a hefty price in lawsuits, negative publicity, and loss of faith by their employees, customers, and the American public. Weighing all of these factors, the greatest pleasure did not occur in Ford’s decision to manufacture the car with the defect. It was not an ethical

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