Ethical Review Of The 1971 Ford Pinto

1139 Words Sep 6th, 2014 5 Pages
Matthew Perezluha
Paper #1
Business Ethics/MGMT-368
September 6, 2014

Ethical Review of the 1971 Ford Pinto

In the mid to late 1960’s American automobile manufacturing was being dominated by Japanese imports. These imports, smaller in size than the domestic vehicles at the time, offered an economical and dependable alternative to what American automobiles offered. In order to remain competitive with these Japanese imports Ford chief executive officer Lee Iacoca instructed the Ford manufacturing company to come up with a vehicle for the 1971 sales year to compete with these Japanese imports. The normal time for design and production for a new vehicle line is 43 months but Iacoca ordered the process to be reduced to 25 months in order to compete. The timeline was met but a rear-end impact study was not conducted until after the car was already on sales lots. Drawn to the relatively inexpensive price for a vehicle at the time, Lily Gray purchased a 1972 Ford Pinto. This is where the production flaw of the Pinto was first revealed. Gray was traveling with 13 year old Richard Grimshaw on the highway when she had to slow to avoid a broke down vehicle. Also trying to avoid the broke down vehicle a Ford Galaxy traveling at approximately 50 miles per hour rear ended the Pinto. Almost immediately the Pinto burst into flames, both passengers had severe burns on their bodies, and later Lily Gray would pass away as a result of the burns from the crash.

On January 18, 1971, less…

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