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Ford Pinto Ethics - Essay Example

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This report details the key ethical and design issues that were relevant in arriving at the decision.
At the outset, the faulty tank was not an…
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Ford Pinto Ethics
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Ford Pinto Ethics

Download file to see previous pages... The other three survived only because special measures had been taken to prevent the rupture of the tank such as (a) plastic baffle between the axle housing and the gas tank (b) steel plate between the tank and the rear bumper and (c) a rubber lining in the gas tank. The results of the test therefore show clearly, that the fuel tank failed, yet the Company did not take any action to remedy the defect. Three of the cars fared better when some special measures were introduced, and the Company had this evidence on hand as well but this still did not factor as significant enough to merit some remedial work being carried out by the Company before getting the cars on to the market. Ford was therefore deficient in its duty of care, because when faced with such results, it should have taken greater care to ensure that the defect in the fuel tank was remedied.
Secondly, there are ethical issues that need to be considered as well. The crash test results suggest that there was a danger posed to life and limb as a result of the defective fuel tanks. The question of ensuring safety of future consumers and users of the cars should have therefore been paramount in Ford’s decision as to whether to continue manufacturing the Pintos or not. However, in arriving at the decision on whether or not to market the Pintos despite the defect in the fuel tank which had been discovered, the Company had decided that in order to be competitive, the car should not cost more than $2000 and weigh more than 2000 pounds. This raises the issue of whether Ford considered its competitiveness more seriously or whether it valued the potential loss of life more seriously. Had the latter been the case, it would have taken steps to ensure that the fuel tank was replaced with a rupture proof fuel tank, which would have been somewhat more expensive. It would have also rendered the Pinto less competitive because it would have used up ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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