Ford pinto utilitarianism. Case: The Ford Pinto 2019-03-03

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Ethical Decisions in the Ford Pinto Case

ford pinto utilitarianism

According to Mills, no harm should be done to others, people should not be deceived and their rights to life, free expression, and safety should be acknowledged. The company wanted to gain a large market share in the automobile industry. The argument here is that Ford abandoned these principles, abused the utilitarian theory to suit their needs, stayed within the laws of the time, but behaved unethically. The main character, Terry McCaleb, has the most complex behavior of all as he has the tendency to jump the fine border between Deontology and Utilitarianism multiple times back and forth. But arguing that producing the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by our actions Shaw, 2009 Fords decision was morally wrong because the benefits and resulting happiness of people benefitting by their decision to sell precariously unsafe vehicles would pale in comparison to the unhappiness caused by a death.

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What’s the Best for Business: Utilitarianism or Deontology

ford pinto utilitarianism

The Pinto was especially successful in California where there was a strong tendency to buy foreign imports. However, in May 1972, the first accident involving the new model occurred. Numerous factors suggest within this research that Ford Motor Company was negligent and violated its code of ethics. The purpose of the choice was clear. In nearly all rear-end crash test collisions, the Pinto's fuel system would rupture extremely easily. This approach assumes that if an accident has a very low probability, and there is a cost associated with its prevention, then a company is never liable if it does not take precautionary measures. Suppose Ford officials were asked to justify their decision.

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A Utilitarian Argument in the Ford Pinto Case , Sample of Essays

ford pinto utilitarianism

Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2010. The possible hazard should have clearly been considered the dominant consideration when Ford was making the decision whether or not to fix the problem with the Ford Pinto. The authors go on to discuss various estimates of the number of people killed by fires from car rollovers before settling on the relatively low figure of 180 deaths per year. 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 Pinto burst into flames causing the death of Lily Gray and serious burns to Richard Grimshaw. The theory cannot possibly be used to put a value on human life, as Ford attempted to do.

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Case Analysis

ford pinto utilitarianism

The moral issues raised in Pinto case are that business should not put a value on human life and avoid known dangers. The ethical issue in The Ford Pinto Case was. The resulting fireball could cause severe burn injuries and even death to its occupants. It seems Ford officials made their decision to continue with the original design of the Pinto firstly, due to the sped up production schedule and any changes would mean retooling of the production line, which would add another year to the schedule. Fabrication was completed in a smaller extent of time than is generally mandatory to generate an automobile. 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. 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.

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Essay about Ford Pinto Case Study

ford pinto utilitarianism

If you steal but expect other people to not steal, you contradict yourself. Little did anyone know, that the design was flawed and posed great risk to human life. The Ford Pinto did have a large trunk for its size of car, but this is what caused the fuel tanks to be susceptible to fire. An action is deemed morally right if it leads to the greatest possible happiness for the greatest number of people. The theory of egoism is most suitable to describe the Ford Pinto case.

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Ethical Decisions in the Ford Pinto Case

ford pinto utilitarianism

We maximise happiness by obeying laws and social conventions which experience has shown promote the common good — such as respect for life, personal freedom and private property, or good manners and politeness. According to the safety study the vehicle could easily catch on fire if involved in an accident. The automobile industry was hit hard. The action here is most important and the action is analysed on the lines of good consequences it produces. Encourage ethical behavior and professionalism in all activities. Upon impact, the filler neck would tear away from the sheet-metal tank and spill fuel beneath the car. In applying utilitarian principles to business ethics, the cost-benefit analysis is most often used — it is a good decision making tool.

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A Utilitarian Argument in the Ford Pinto Case , Sample of Essays

ford pinto utilitarianism

Using Kant¶s ethics we can further examine the morality of Ford in knowingly selling unsafe cars by applying the universal test. Ford used the cost-benefit analysis approach in order to determine when and how to launch the newly designed Pinto. There was no law that the organization had to conform to for proving the safety. Anyone in the Ford family could not have been thinking rationally if they made the decision not to recall because they were risking too many important values that did not carry immediate economic value in 1971, but certainly did after 1976 just five years later! There was a big debate about the safety of the Ford Pinto to its proneness to its fuel tank catching on fire in low-speed rear-end collisions. After a cost-benefit analysis of the safety improvements and the potential death toll, Ford decided to release the model without the safety improvements. Within his theories he states that for something to be both ethical and just it must not infringe on the basic rights and liberties of a person, nor give advantage to any one group but to all with positions and offers available to all equally.

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Ford Pinto Fuel Tanks

ford pinto utilitarianism

Ford had to come up with a solution and they had to do it fast. Since two years is shorter than the regularly three and half years, some of the building processes were done less concurrently. The management had just aimed to design a car which could be sold at competitive prices by keeping lowest costs regardless of the safety of the passengers. They had many alternatives instead of this model, but since profit is the main factor in their decision, they went ahead and market the product. It is unethical to allow people to die or be injured because of the cost incurred in order to prevent that. It Is ethically wrong that the company looks its benefits first and designs such a car and places value on life.

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Case: The Ford Pinto

ford pinto utilitarianism

It rushed from its inception to its actual production. . The Ford engineers were aware that rear-end impact safety tests were pretty standard at the time, but they were not required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at that time. The resulting lawsuits from the injured people are also a pain. Although Elwell had testified in more than fifteen previous cases that the pickups were safe, this time he switched sides and told the jury that the company had known for years that the side-saddle design was defective but had intentionally hidden its knowledge and had not attempted to correct the problem. For example, in utilitarianism it is acceptable if others are harmed but the consequence of the action is the well-being of a greater number of people.

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