Ford Pinto Case Study Shannon Arrighi, Brad Collins, Chasity Mobley, and Tom Tumminelli University of Phoenix Ford Pinto Case Study Shannon—Introduction Faced With The Ethical Dilemma In this ethical dilemma the team agrees it would have been handled differently. Within our group it seems that there would be different opinions of how it would have been handled. As an industry professional, ones moral obligation and responsibility of every employee within the organization to do everything he or she can within his or her power to ensure the company is providing a safe product for customers.
One would have implemented a voluntary recall. The voluntary recall would have cost Ford less than $20. 9 million estimated by the company. Because all the customers who purchased a Ford Pinto would not have brought the cars into have the baffle added. However, the voluntary recall would have limited Ford’s responsibility over future legal claims as the company would have notified the public of the increased risk and would have given the public an option to reduce their risk (Newton & Ford, 2008).
By not bringing the Ford Pinto into a service facility to have the baffle added, the customer assumed a large portion and liability as they ignored the warning that was provided by the company (Newton & Ford, 2008). One can understand the concern Ford was facing by the Japanese automakers. Due to the pressure one can understand the decision Ford made by putting together an aggressive engineering and production timeline (Newton & Ford, 2008). However, morally and ethically ones obligations would have insisted all safety requirements were met.
Some of us could not have made the decision to push the roll out of the new vehicle knowing the organization was exposing customers to a significant risk. One should consider the possible negative alternatives. The data presented was unmistakably favoring the installation of the baffle. The cost of the retrofit was significantly less than the cost of the bad publicity and the law suits (Newton & Ford). External Social Pressures For many years now one has observed customers and the public bring about what one would consider frivolous lawsuits against companies that have taken the necessary precautions to protect and satisfy their customers.
The majority of us recall the lawsuit brought against McDonald’s by the customer who was burned by her cup of coffee. Many believe this case was a money grab by the customer. The case discussed the fact that McDonald’s coffee was hotter than it was required to be, but McDonald’s position was their customers complained their coffee was not hot enough to remain hot for the customers drive to the their destination (The Actual Facts, 1996). The customer who was burned was attempting to add creamer to her coffee in her car and had put the cup between her legs to hold it in place.
When she took the lid off the coffee spilled in her lap (The Actual Facts, 1996). In this case one cannot blame McDonald’s, as any person whom places hot coffee between her legs in my mind deserves to be burned. Why did the customer not set the coffee in the cup holder or on the floor to open the lid and add the creamer? If she would have then she would not have been burned. Maybe she did not have a cup holder? If there was not a cup holder, she should have sued the car manufacturer as well as they accused her to put the coffee between her legs.
The point is both companies and customers take risks each day and therefore, should assume responsibility for his or her actions. The case of the Ford Pinto is similar in the fact there was not a required standards for rear impacts when the Pinto was made, however, due to the level of risk involved, Ford should have informed customers of the concern allowing the customer the option to lower their risk. The Period Eye This is easy to sit here today after reading this documented case and play the Monday morning quarterback stating what one would do or have done.
However, one believes the solution today would have been the same in 1971 because of ones moral and ethical upbringing. One tends to stand very firm on ones values and priorities. Ones priorities are God, family, oneself, then the job. Although the industry did not have a standard on rear-end impacts at the time, engineers at Ford Motors knew the testing for rear-end impact was a standard safety procedure. The car was tested after production, and it failed the test (De George, 2006). At that point one believes there were only two options moving forward.
First, install the baffle behind the rear bumper in order to meet the testing requirements or offer customers the option of purchasing the baffle and require the customer to sign a waiver. One believes he would have decided to install the baffle during production and absorb the cost of the installation as well as the cost of not meeting the production deadline. One believes the decision would have been there responsibility of the industry professionals to insist on providing ones customers a safe product for their families.
Standing by ones personal morals and ethical values will lead one to the road of success. Strong managers who make tough decisions provide the only true job security in today’s world. Weak managers are the problem. Weak managers destroy jobs (Jack Welch). Conclusion Shannon—conclusion
Reference DeGeorge, (2006). The Ford Pinto Case. [University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-text]. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Retrieved February 24, 2009 from University of Phoenix, rEsourse, MGT/216—Organizational Ethics ; Social Responsibilities Web site. Newton; Ford, (2008). Issue 15: was Ford to Blame in the Pinto Case? [University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-text]. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Retrieved February 24, 2009 from, University of Phoenix, rEsourse, MGT/216— Organizational Ethics ; Social Responsibilities Web site. The Actual Facts, (1996). The Actual Facts About the McDonald’s Case. Retrieved February 26, 2009 from Letric Law Library: http://www. lectlaw. com/files/cur78. htm