Ford Pinto Essay

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The Pinto Fires: Ford's Ethical Dilemma Jeffery Andersen, Jeremy Bliss, Adam Shriver PHL/323 November 22, 2010 George Stragalas, III The Pinto Fires: Ford's Ethical Dilemma Every so often, a company comes along and throws its moral obligations out the window with rampant disregard for the customers it services. Such is the case for Ford Motor Company’s 1970 lapse in ethical conduct that resulted in the gruesome, painful, and tragic deaths of 27 innocent people. Driven by an insatiable desire to rival Asian and European auto manufacturers for dominance in America’s compact car market, Ford began production of its infamous Pinto in late 1970. Unfortunately for consumers, Ford did so with malicious disregard for human life, as pre-release crash tests indicated that gas tank defects made the Pinto susceptible to catching fire in low to moderate speed rear-end collisions (The Center For Auto Safety [CFAS], n.d.). With this knowledge, Ford Motor Company’s decision of continuing with the production and release of the Pinto was completely unethical, for 27 consumers died gruesome, untimely deaths at the hands of Ford’s gross negligence. In the following case study analysis, Ford Motor Company’s conduct will be examined by determining all of the facts, symptoms, root problems, roles of key players, and ethical issues involved. In addition, an in depth analysis of all the ethical systems at play will be offered. After determining Ford’s ethical approach to the issue, alternatives will be offered and analyzed by which Ford may have avoided such a costly ethical debacle. An analysis will also be offered detailing how various alternatives will be affected by being carried out in a different country, as well as the effects of globalization on determining the most viable alternative. After examining all of the factors inherent within the case, Ford’s most viable

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