Ford Pinto Case Study

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PRINCIPLES OF RESPONSIBLE COMMERCE (COMM 101) TUTORIAL PREPARATION WEEK 3 NAME: Chang Yee How UOW NUMBER: 4387296 Case Study: Ford Pinto 1. What moral issues does the Pinto case raise? The Pinto case brought up issue of abusing human rights and behaved unethically in business. Ford had the design to reduce the possibility of Ford Pinto from exploding. However, the company refused to implement it, although it can prevent 180 deaths from happening at a cost of $11 per car according to the cost-benefit analysis. (Shaw, W.H., Barry, V., & Sansbury, G. 2009) (63 words) 2. Suppose Ford officials were asked to justify their decision. What moral principles do you think they would invoke? Assess Ford’s handling of the Pinto from the perspective of each of the moral theories discussed in this chapter. The Ford officials would probably invoke the principles of utilitarianism. Ford had claimed that the strict cost-benefit analysis was made based on the statistics information provided by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an organization of the federal government. Ford then quantified life as an economic commodity at a cost of approximately $200,000. According to the cost-benefit analysis, the $49.5 million benefits and $137.5 million cost suggested that Ford implementation of safety improvements would totally outweighed their benefits. (Kelman, S. 2001) (81 words) 3. Utilitarians would say that jeopardizing motorists does not by itself make Ford’s action morally objectionable. The only morally relevant matter is whether Ford gave equal consideration to the interests of each affected party. Do you think Ford did this? Ford did not give equal consideration to the interests of each affected party. During the preproduction crash test, Ford’s engineers had already discovered that the potential danger from the ruptured fuel tank.

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