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Ethical Considerations of the Ford Pinto Case

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NC Wesleyan...

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  1. Introduction
  2. A very complicated situation
  3. The most obvious choice
  4. Conclusion
  5. Bibliography

In the 1970's, the question about the Ford Pinto arose and became a very large issue about whether or not it was safe in a rear end collision. The problem in this case is whether or not Ford conducted business morally and ethically in regards to recalling the Pinto. There are many factors involved in this case but the overall information I retrieved from the article implicitly proves that Ford new about some potential problems and chose to ignore them until someone pointed them out to the authorities and to the public. The problem that arises for Ford is the ethical and moral considerations of avoiding the problem until some one found out and the impact it could have on the future of the Ford Motor Company. Personally, I think this is the first black eye that Ford received that made a huge impact on the public. The parties involved are the Ford Motor Company, the NHTSA, the car owners and the writer, the management and the stockholders of Mother Jones magazine. You must also consider the management and stockholders at Ford. The different inspection agencies that tested the Pinto and finally, in a peripheral way, the lawyers who advised Ford not to reveal anything and then their possible involvement in the hearings and lawsuits.

[...] Ford heard of the new regulations and tested the Pinto against them and it failed miserably. They still produced the car for that year because they knew the regulation would not impact older cars, only the newer models produced. Ford made slight modifications to meet the minimum requirements of the new regulations and continued to produce the Pinto. Apparently, Ford actually produced the Pinto for 6 or 7 years before government agencies involved in auto safety took note of the fatal crashes involving the Pinto. [...]


[...] There are a ton of different options that Ford could have and should have taken regarding the Ford Pinto but I am going to try and point out the most prominent ones. The most obvious choice is the one that Ford took and that is to go ahead and produce the Pinto even though there were several problems. They could have justified this with the theory that there is no place for ethics in business and companies are in business to make a profit. [...]

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