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Ford Pinto Case

Essay by   •  March 22, 2012  •  Case Study  •  1,227 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,884 Views

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Ford Pinto Case

The dilemma involving Ford with the production the pinto hit the car market hard. In the creation of the ford pinto, it was built to meet to the competition of other economical cars. It was built to weigh only 2,000 pounds and cost less than 2,000, which was very affordable for most Americans. The production of the this new compact car, designed to compete with the foreign car industries, Ford Motor Company, under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Lee Iacocca, was under extreme pressure to produce this car within a minimal time-line. Unfortunately, this short fused suspense resulted in the lack of stringent safety inspections. Because of this expeditious timeline, the Ford Pinto was not properly tested for rear- end impact. Instead of adequately testing this vehicle prior during the proper stage, it was tested after production. During the testing, it was discovered that this new compact vehicle, failed to meet internal safety standards for a vehicle of this size. Ford had mistakenly installed the fuel tank in the rear of the car versus on the side. Therefore, upon rear end impact, the risk associated with major damage, including potential vehicle, was severely high. Ford deliberated this issue and derived at a few courses of action. Unfortunately, the action that they chose was based on dollars and not sense; Ford selected potential monetary gain over the lives of their customers. Corporate leaders, managers and engineers were all aware of the problem; however, they still agreed to move forward with production. After reading the case study in detail, I clearly believe that this issue could have been avoided, saving consumer lives and still generating profitable income, had Ford been more concerned about their reputation than their profit. It has clearly become evident that Ford has spent more time dealing with this issue than it spent in the entire lifecycle of Ford Pinto Production; and the company has clearly shelled out more money in litigation and fines than it ever expected. Bottom line, the Ford Pinto should have been tested, in its fullness, from the front, around all sides and into the rear for impact consequences. Unfortunately, at this stage, Ford has incurred a problem that historians have, and will continue, to use as an example of a bad ethical decision; one that has negligently resulted in loss of life for far too many people.

I have come to conclude that in business it is very important to take the appropriate amount of time to correct known deficiencies and to always make safety a number one priority. Before any vehicle can be shipped for sale, I believe they should be fully tested to ensure that they are operating at the highest level of efficiency and deemed to be of the highest safety standard. A company's reputation, their character, will undoubtedly reap far greater benefits for them when the final earnings are added up. Earnings should not just be counted in dollars because ethics far exceeds any dollar amount. The pressures of competition, making a dollar and name recognition will never outweigh honesty, integrity, respect, honor, dignity and values of the sort. Individual pressure is often caused by social pressure and Mr. Iacocca's desire to build the Ford Pinto was clearly a result of an external pressure to produce a vehicle that was equal to or better than others in that class. Unfortunately, submitting to such pressure, at the expense of others, more often that not adds up to a net loss.

External social pressures play a big part in the decision reached about the Ford Motor

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