The Ford Pinto

1076 Words Oct 15th, 2012 5 Pages
The Ford Pinto
Question 1
What moral issues does the Pinto case raise?
ANS: The Pinto case raise the moral issues of what is the dollar value of the human life. That the businesses should not be putting a value on human life and disregard a known deadly danger. In order to perform a risk/benefit analysis, all costs and benefits must be expressed in some common measure. This measure is typically in dollars, as the Ford Motor Company used in its analysis. This can prove difficult for things that are not commonly bought and sold on the open market. Therefore, totell someone that there is a certain price for their life is a preposterous notion. There are numerous things which individuals consider priceless. Ford thought they could get
…show more content…
As Friedman has argued, the role of business is to make money and a cost benefit analysis is a very useful tool in figuring out how to do so. When it comes to morals, however, cost-benefit analysis is much less useful unless one believes in utilitarianism. For other understanding of morality, a person should not be asking “what do I gain and lose” when trying to figure out what to do. People should be asking “what’s the right thing to do”. Cost-benefit analysis can’t really help with that. An examination of the Ford Pinto Case, the cost-benefit analysis, will help raise the awareness and understanding of the diminishing value of ethics in the business world. When Ford conducted the cost-benefit analysis, it analyzed what the potential benefit would be if they fixed every Pinto by installing the baffle piece. The result produced from the cost-benefit analysis may be interpreted to say that it would have cost Ford $137 million to fix the Pintos by installing the baffle piece when it would have cost $49.5 million to leave the cars alone and deal with the expenses of injuries and deaths from the crashes. Ford decided that, because it would be cheaper, it would not install the baffle piece. According to De George, Ford did not tell the consumer that the car was not as safe as others, nor did it inform consumers that they had the option of purchasing the baffle piece (De George, 1995). In Ford contention is that these decision are moral ones, and that cost-benefit analysis is

More about The Ford Pinto

Open Document