Case Study - Ford and Firestone's Tire Recall: the Costliest Information Gap in History

871 Words Jan 19th, 2013 4 Pages
Case Study #1

Ford and Firestone's Tire Recall: The Costliest Information Gap in History

1. Briefly summarize the problems and major issues in this case. To what extent was this crisis an information management problem? What role did databases and data management play?

Answer:
These are the problems and major issues that I found in this case:
• 46 deaths and more than 300 accidents
• A confidential memo sent by Firestone to Ford claiming that everything was fine
• Ford recall in 16 countries but not in US and also did not notify the safety regulators(NHTSA)
• Disagreement about the tire inflation pressure(Ford recommended 26-30 psi, while Firestone recommended 30 psi)
• Firestone plant was “rife with quality control
…show more content…
Answer:
The growing trend of deaths was not spotted for a very long time because individuals like the group of injury lawyers and the executives of the involved companies, hid the information. Data was also not stored because of the lack of funding of the Department of Transportation. They were also not obligated to report the overseas incidents - that’s why it took so long for the issue to come to the attention of the general public.
3. List the different databases the parties had at their disposal as the problem grew, and list the data elements in those databases that were key to finding the tread separation problem earlier. Ignoring for the moment all other data problems, what critical data elements were those organizations not strong? For each one, why do you think it was critical and why it was not being stored?

Answer: Firestone
• Nashville: Damage claims
• Ohio: Warranty adjustments
Ford
• Warranty information for non-tire issues
• Did not have warranty information for tires Lawyers
• List of failure patterns
Department of Transportation
• Fatality data with vehicle type
• Not storing actual causes of failure(i.e. tires)
• No data from non-fatal accidents
NHTSA – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
• List of complaints, crashes, injuries and deaths

The Department of Transportation should’ve had the complete and accurate list of fatal and non-fatal accidents including the

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