Summary of the Case In May 1968, the Ford Motor Company, based upon a recommendation by then vice-president Lee Iacocca, decided to produce the Ford Pinto … In particular, foreign automobile manufacturers were creating and selling cheap cars that were cutting into Ford's market share . 1. Ford Pinto Case Study. Also sparing lives adds tremendous moral value to a decision that corrects the problem and announces it as it is which is an engineering design flaw that they are aware of. Many parties were affected is this case including the Ford Motor Company employees, the shareholders, the company owners, and every single consumer or person who not only purchased the vehicles but also drove in them including the ones who were injured, burned or even killed, and not to be forgotten, the rest of the whole world. The seven factors used in the hedonistic calculus are intensity, duration, certainty, purity, propinquity, fertility, and extent. Ford realized this but made its decision to not recall the cars based of their own company formulated utilitarian cost benefit analysis and fear of negative company effects. According to the myth, however, businesses and people in business are not explicitly concerned with ethics. But you must consider human life in terms of a quality like John Stuart Mill’s idea for happiness and quality of life, and for those lost and for those who grieve afterwards, for the hate that is created, and the pain and suffering. RELEVANT FACTS Question: 1 29/07/13 MVBE 2 3. This was a seemingly good consequence for Ford Motor Company, only until four people died in 1972 and other incidents happened that created a downward spiral for them. This, more than likely, contributed to the business decision made by Ford management to produce, market, and sell the Ford Pinto. Applying Utilitarianism to Business Ethics: The Ford Pinto. New York NY. They could convince the consumer markets, and the media that this decision is why Ford is who they are, and although they may not be as fast as other auto makers, at least they are concerned about doing things the right moral way. Get a verified writer to help you with A Utilitarian Argument in the Ford Pinto Case. Propinquity is clearly in favor of the pain, as approximately 50 lawsuits were brought against Ford as a result of rear-end collisions in the Pinto, and Forbes and Time magazines both listed it in their “Worst Cars of All Time” lists in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Ford Motor company, by their own calculations, saved 87 million by making their decision to not recall cars. Aims of this lesson • Revise utilitarian ethics • Link it to cost-benefit analysis used by businesses • Consider the case of the Ford Pinto (1972) • Evaluate whether utilitarian ethics is to blame – does the criticism hold good? We start by viewing a Youtube clip on the Ford Pinto. First, it is focused way too much on numeric dollar values when considering human injuries, company futures, and life lost. ... Financial and Strategic Analysis of Honda Motor Company . Ford Motor company did a really did a neat job of estimating life values and social components cost of property damage, insurance costs, legal fees, employer losses, funeral, assets and value of each human life in society. Utilitarian Paper Ford Pinto Case The ideal ethical business practice, using the utilitarian principle, would consider the good and bad consequences for everyone the action would affect, treat everybody as having equal rights with no bias towards themselves, and would use … The infamous Ford Pinto case is one of the most mentioned cases in Business Ethics studies used as an example of cost-benefit analysis. ( Log Out /  The lawsuits brought by injured people and their survivors uncovered how the company rushed the Pinto through production and onto the market. utilitarianism, the prevailing ethical doctrine in play at Ford when executives decided not to build additional safety features in the Pinto. 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. Students looking for free, top-notch essay and term paper samples on various topics. “The Ford Pinto.” Business Ethics: Readings and Cases in Corporate Morality. However, in my estimation, Ford management endangers the integrity of its own safety practices for the small sake … The 'most good' in the Pinto's case is … In 1968, Ford Motor Company had a decision to make as to whether it would compete in the subcompact automotive market. Let’s take another look at the Ford Pinto case now that we have the concepts from the Stockholder and Stakeholder views in mind. There were various ways of making the Pinto’s gas tank safer. They also assumed that if they made a recall, their share price would plummet and shareholders would lose money, and that possibly employees would lose jobs. (A paper I wrote for my business ethics class, not particularly a particularly creative or exciting assignment but I wanted to show some of my more formal writing.). McGraw-Hill, 2001. The decision by Ford to not recall any of its cars, and not fix design flaws, conceal the truth of their mistake and roll the dice future incoming lawsuits, damages and loss of human life is the one that I will dissect. 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. 4.7 Ed. Consequentialist Maximise pleasure (Bentham) or happiness (Mill) Calculate empirically balance of pleasure over pain or happiness over misery Tends to ignore individual rights, classic criticism minority is sacrificed for majority Does Mill s rule utilitarianism … The vehicle engineers were tasked to develop the vehicle and put it into production within 25 months, which was nearly half the time in which the average … It rushed from its inception to its actual production. September 7, 2007. With over 3 million pintos sold over a ten year production run, the Pinto competed in the United States car market against the competition such as AMC Gremlin and Chevrolet Vega .The Pinto also … An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (Dover Philosophical Classics). 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. I will show how this action uses the “greatest happiness and greatest pleasure” form of Utilitarianism and the true moral flaws that it exposes. Although the Pinto was initially hugely popular in USA, its sales fell dramatically due to a controversy surrounding the safety of its gas … We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. 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. There may be some who stand by Ford’s actions and would reject the idea that they acted unethically when releasing the Pinto. While Ford was found not guilty in that one specific case where they were charged with criminal homicide, the fact that roughly 50 lawsuits were brought against Ford, many of which Ford lost, and 21 to 475 lives could have been saved by making minor changes to the design still makes Ford responsible due to their negligence and oversight when releasing the car. If we lived in a world where money was equally valuable to reputations, emotions, and even life then their decision may be utilitarian but it is still not ethical. Utilitarian Analysis The Case of the Ford Pinto The Ford Pinto first rolled off the Ford Motor Co. production lines in 1971 and stayed in production in its original state until 1978. However there is a dominant if not obvious consideration that carries more importance than just economics and Ford’s revenue. They hadn’t even done their due diligence when making the decision, as they relied on mathematical formulas as opposed to road tests in their testing. 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 even concluded they would need to pay 87 million dollars less by doing no recalls and just paying for these other future damage costs. A utilitarian approach will be used to evaluate the case – the cost-benefit analysis is assumed to be of secondary value to the overall utilitarian analysis. Ford president Lee Iacocca wanted the Pinto to be less than 2,000 pounds and less than $2,000 so it could stand out when released into a division of automobiles Ford did not have much experience in. all those who purchase their vehicles around the world better. Varian Patella Philosophy 131 Michael F. Martin 03/08/2010 The Ford Pinto Case and Utilitarianism In this essay, I will talk about the ford Pinto case, and how the information was withheld from public in order to save company from huge losses and at the same time keep company’s reputation Intact. Also, there were roughly 40 European and Japanese cars of similar price, design, yet better features out at the time, meaning that it was not an unreasonable option to make the safety changes to the car and remain competitive in the market. Act Utilitarianism Applied to the Ford Pinto Release. 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