Pinto Fires Case Essay

721 Words Mar 8th, 2014 3 Pages
PINTO FIRES CASE

The assumption that ‘it’s easy to be ethical’ assumes that individuals automatically know that they are facing an ethical dilemma and that they should simply choose to do the right thing. But decision makers may not always recognize that they are facing a moral issue. Rarely do decisions come with waving red flags. Dennis Gioia was recall coordinator at Ford Motor
Company in the early 1970s when the company decided not to recall the Pinto despite dangerous fires that were killing the occupants of vehicles involved in low-impact rear-end collisions. In his information and overloaded recall coordinator role, Gioia saw thousands of accident reports, and he followed a cognitive “script” that helped him decide which
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The means were limited design time and reducing costs. By cutting costs, Ford knowingly created a product which could prove dangerous and fatal to its consumers. Does Ford’s ends justify its means? Ford did create a sub-compact that sold extremely well and competed fiercely with foreign imports. The goal of the Ford Pinto was met. The costs of this win were substantial however. The money that Ford tried to save by not recalling the vehicle was spent when Ford recalled the Pinto, and extra was spent in compensatory and punitive damages in lawsuits. So the costs that Ford tried to avoid were incurred anyway along with extra. A similar ethical concept to Utilitarianism is that of Rawl’s Theory of Justice. 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. In reference to the Ford Pinto, the second statement is upheld. The Pinto being a relatively cheap car which was often a starter vehicle, and as long as a person had the funds and a driver’s license, they could own the vehicle. So the design process general design itself was both fair and ethical to Rawls when regarding the second of his two theories of justice. The first theory can be up to interpretation. The only rights or liberties that might have been infringed upon are those of safety

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