The success of the Mustang elevated Iacocca's status and ideas and eventually forced Knudsen out. Testing proved the Pinto was not the safest vehicle however Ford lobbied and argued that accidents and fatalities were an assumed risk of driving.
In order to get the Pinto released as soon as possible, the design and manufacturing process was cut from three and a half years down to two. While testing the Pinto, it became apparent that due to the gas tank in the car was at great risk for fire hazard when struck from the rear, even at low speeds.
Ford was presented with a dilemma: After a cost-benefit analysis of the safety improvements and the potential death toll, Ford decided to release the model without the safety improvements. Their estimation showed that it was cheaper to ignore public safety.
The release of the Pinto lead to an estimated 21 to deaths that could have been prevented if the necessary safety features had been installed. Act utilitarianism is part of the utilitarian theory, one of the most widely accepted ethical theories in existence.
It was developed by Jeremy Bentham and introduced to the world in his book An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, which was released in Its basic principle is that human nature is ruled by our reactions to pain and pleasure, and the good is the action that maximizes the overall pleasure for the greatest number of people.
In order to determine whether an action produces more pain or pleasure for the majority, the hedonistic calculus is used.
The seven factors used in the hedonistic calculus are intensity, duration, certainty, purity, propinquity, fertility, and extent. This calculus makes weighing in on an ethical decision much easier because it allows all the factors involved in the choice to be given equal consideration and when applied correctly, the right choice will be obvious in the end.
The effectiveness of the hedonistic calculus is best demonstrated when used on a serious ethical issue, and the Ford Pinto dilemma is a perfect example for this. First off is intensity, which is obvious. Although Ford may have made a lot of money from the Pinto and captured a significant portion of the subcompact auto market, the loss of human life is far more intense, for both the deceased as well as their loved ones.
Death however, is permanent, and clearly represents more pain for the deceased and their families than the pleasure for the few Ford executives who could have benefitted from the Pinto doing well. Certainty goes to Ford and pleasure, as the early release of the Pinto bringing in more revenue and helping them capture more of a competitive market is practically a foregone conclusion, while deaths associated due to the design flaw, although likely, are not certain.
This would negatively affect millions more than few auto executives who would benefit from cutting corners on safety, which places extent in the pain category as well.
They would have several facts to draw upon in their argument, the most impactful being that the Pinto did not break any of the standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and in certain areas surpassed the government standards. They would also claim that in one of the most emotionally compelling cases, that of Ulrich family, Ford was found not guilty of criminal homicide.
In addition to these facts, they would argue that despite appearing inhumane on the surface, cost-benefit analyses are the basis of many important business determinations and Ford should not be faulted for using a standard technique to make their decision. However, there are several ways to rebut these counterarguments.
Although Ford did not break any of the existing NHTSA rules when releasing the Pinto, they had been actively lobbying against new safety standards since the release of the Pinto.Stanford Libraries' official online search tool for books, media, journals, databases, government documents and more.
Bus Group N Summary Cost Benefit Analysis Ethical Issues Change Alternatives Recommendation The Ford Pinto – a small car to compete with foreign car company competitors Pinto – weighed lbs and cost $ Rushed project led by Lee Iacocca Planning took 25 months compared to the industry norm 43 months Testing found several safety defects @ 25mph+ the gas tank would rupture in an.
CASE THE FORD PINTO Discussion Questions 1. Although the Pinto passed the NHTSA test, Ford officials knew that the Pinto was prone to catch fire when struck from the rear, even in low-speed collisions, thus it was unsafe to drive the car without any technical improvements implemented/5(2).
Ford Pinto Case Study University of Phoenix MGT December 21, Ford Pinto Case Now more than ever it seems that organizations face ethical or moral dilemmas.
The dilemmas that an organization can see are both issues that can be caused by internal or external factors. To protect your privacy, please remember to log out when you are finished. The Log Out button is at the top of the page.!! The Ford Pinto case is mentioned in most Business Ethics texts as an example of Cost-Benefit analysis, yet in those formats any appreciation of the complexity surrounding the issues of such decisions is overly simplified.