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Ford Pinto Case Essay

1314 words - 6 pages

Ford Motor Company celebrates on their website that “No other car company has earned more Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Picks and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) five-star crash test ratings.” Ford should be proud of their accomplishments they have made in the auto industry. Unfortunately, it always has not been the case that people would think safe when thinking about a Ford product. The early 1970s saw the competition of foreign made vehicles taking a share of the North American market. To compete, local car manufacturers had to be quick, and innovative to keep their market share. Ford’s answer to this was the Ford Pinto. A small and ...view middle of the document...

With such a short time frame of coming up with a competitive vehicle, the safety testing was not done until after the Ford Pinto was released to the public (Klebe Trevino & Nelson, 2007). In the 1970s, there was no National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rear-end impact standard (De George, 2010), leaving the Ford Motor Company to introduce the Ford Pinto without conducting the proper tests to ensure their vehicle was safe.
One lone executive and engineer by the name of Harley Copp decided he could not deal with the choices Ford was making and quit his position with Ford. Copp made the further decision to go to the media and let the public know that even though Ford knew about the issue, they were still not recalling the Pinto to put in a quick and easy fix (DeGeorge, 2006).
Author’s Viewpoint
To be involved in this kind of ethical dilemma where each of the two alternative courses are undesirable just like the Pinto case, the choice would be the option that is most ethical. To do this requires great confidence, as well as the courage to withstand and remind management of all the possible consequences that might actually occur in the buying and selling of the unsafe cars. This will occur only when the time comes for it to be pushed through. Upper management or the supervisor would have to be reminded that pushing just to make a dollar, will not significantly damage the competitiveness and profitability of the market over a long period of time. Moreover, if the total cost of the items that are being added to the vehicle is more than the targeted amount, the last users or consumers will be satisfied and they will appreciate the quality and the higher safety features. This will establish a better reputation for the company and automatically help to obtain or gain back the total of the additional cost that is being invested in the vehicle to upgrade safety to a higher level. In the event that management is still not convinced, then it is the ethical responsibility of the individual to immediately inform the public on what kind of risks are involved when considering the purchase of a Pinto. Unfortunately, for a company that is desperately determined to stay on the top of the competition will probably be less likely to accept such a noble suggestion. The company will still overlook and continue putting their consumers’ safety at risk.
Nevertheless, without hesitation, it will take courage to blow the whistle if satisfaction is
not obtained through the company’s justifications, or if there is no concrete action taken
regarding this matter. It is everyone and anyone’s responsibility to inform the public, specifically
regarding the marketing plan of the company’s inconsiderate position to put the public’s safety at
risk. Additionally, before this complaint can be taken to the next level, legal authorities such as
the government offices need to...

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