Sandel uses the Ford Pinto case to criticize utilitarianism because in the case a cost analysis system is used and all the factors are placed on a single scale and translated into monetary value. Death however, is permanent, and clearly represents more pain for the deceased and their families than the pleasure for the few Ford executives who could have benefitted from the Pinto doing well. With over 3 million pintos sold over a ten year production run, the Pinto competed in the United States car market against the competition such as AMC Gremlin and Chevrolet Vega .The Pinto also … TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 3, Ask Writer For The decision not to recall the cars and let the accidents occur loses utilitarian units of value in terms of obvious life factors. Propinquity is clearly in favor of the pain, as approximately 50 lawsuits were brought against Ford as a result of rear-end collisions in the Pinto, and Forbes and Time magazines both listed it in their “Worst Cars of All Time” lists in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Hoffman, W. Michael. PHIL-186 Paper #1: Utilitarianism in The Ford Pinto Case and Blackwater Case Through the lens of utilitarianism, I will be analyzing The Ford Pinto Case and The Blackwater Case to determine if they promote overall harm or benefit. 15 April, 2010. They could convince the consumer markets, and the media that this decision is why Ford is who they are, and although they may not be as fast as other auto makers, at least they are concerned about doing things the right moral way. Case Analysis "Ford pinto" 1. Help. To prevent the gas tank leaking during rollovers, another $11 would have to be spent on production. Change ), An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, 1971 Ford Pinto – The 50 Worst Cars of All Time”, National Women’s Day-Women Changing the World, Types of People You See on the Metro-North Train. However they should have bore the cost of the recalls as a way of upholding their own company character through honestly admitting their technical mistake, which in the end, has a lot more value. Applying Utilitarianism to Business Ethics: The Ford Pinto. This alternate idea produces more good for more people using a utilitarian way of thinking as well. In this context, in the following discussion, the utilitarianism concept has been explored with the case study of Pinto model launched by Ford motors.// Ford produced a car named Pinto in the year 1971, which proved to be a great success for the company (Ford Pinto Explained 2016). Pain also wins out in the duration category, as the success of company like Ford is constantly changing due to a variety of factors; the success of the Pinto could not determine Ford’s overall success as a company. Hawk 1 Irina Hawk Professor Whitfield Business Ethics 12 November 2014 Utilitarian Analysis of Ford Pinto Case Act utilitarianism is part of the utilitarian theory, one of the most widely accepted ethical theories in existence. ...Utilitarian Analysis The Case of the Ford Pinto The Ford Pinto first rolled off the Ford Motor Co. production lines in 1971 and stayed in production in its original state until 1978. They also assumed that if they made a recall, their share price would plummet and shareholders would lose money, and that possibly employees would lose jobs. Print. Ford’s decision was based on the results of a cost-benefit analysis contained in the notorious “Pinto Memo,” written by Ford engineers to guide design decisions. Incredibly, the analysis put a price tag on human life—$200,000— and then used that number to compare Ford’s projected cost of settling burn-victim’s lawsuits Utilitarianism is the moral doctrine that we should always act to produce the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by our actions (Shaw, 2009). ... Financial and Strategic Analysis of Honda Motor Company . This would negatively affect millions more than few auto executives who would benefit from cutting corners on safety, which places extent in the pain category as well. In 1971 Ford Motor Company decided they wanted to create a compact car that could compete with the other Japanese manufactured cars. This, more than likely, contributed to the business decision made by Ford management to produce, market, and sell the Ford Pinto. Second, in line with utilitarian factors, Ford calculates all the collateral damage in terms of money and nothing else. Utilitarian Analysis Ford Pinto 1303 Words | 6 Pages. Ford was presented with a dilemma: to release the Pinto as scheduled and risk the safety of those who purchased it or spend more time designing the car, thereby seceding more of the subcompact auto market to the competition. ( Log Out /  Ford president Lee Iacocca wanted the Pinto to be less than 2,000 pounds and less than $2,000 so it could stand out when released into a division of automobiles Ford did not have much experience in. It is also so narrow minded that I would consider it not rational. We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. The flaw of Utilitarianism: the Ford Pinto case background information background information. The company could lose big from media and public backlash. The utilitarianism is the framework that Ford’s analysts relied on while conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the release of the Pinto cars (Poel & Royakkers, 2011). Don’t waste Your Time Searching For a Sample, Get Your Job Done By a Professional Skilled Writer. When looking at the cost benefit analysis, Ford should have also considered the bigger picture; that lives hung in the balance of their decision and they were gambling with merely at $11 per car. After all the factors are considered, pain wins with five categories in the calculus compared to pleasure’s two, making it clearly unethical for the Pinto to have been released early without the necessary safety features. A utilitarian approach will be used to evaluate the case – the cost-benefit analysis is assumed to be of secondary value to the overall utilitarian analysis. Additional materials, such as the best quotations, synonyms and word definitions to make your writing easier are I will show how this action uses the “greatest happiness and greatest pleasure” form of Utilitarianism and the true moral flaws that it exposes. In 1970 Ford Motor Company launched a brand new automobile: the Ford Pinto. In the end, these cars proved to be one of the most dangerous ever produced because of their extreme flammability in instance of rear impact collision. Creating a stable product with quality in mind is a solid business decision and will create profitability for years to come. For a non-corporate minute, don’t think in terms of insurance claims, lawsuits paid, and annual profits gained or lost, but for competitors looking at the company as stupid, and the American public devaluing Ford in their own minds when they find out the truth about the cover up. It seems really ideal that when creating a calculus in utilitarian ethics to think in terms of dollars because dollars carry a numeric value anyway! Time. Case Published on February 6, 2009 by annielundy in Major Companies Comments (2)|0 Liked It An attempt to unravel the uses and abuses of the theory of utilitarianism. In relations to Ford Pinto, the case study shows that is was about an accident which took place involving a Ford Pinto and a Chevrolet Van which hit the Ford Pinto from behind. Utilitarianism, business ethics and the Ford Pinto case present a dilemma, as the theory appears to be one of moral strength and a good guideline for ethical business choice. Act utilitarianism is part of the utilitarian theory, one of the most widely accepted ethical theories in existence. Get a verified writer to help you with A Utilitarian Argument in the Ford Pinto Case. Mill's Utilitarianism and the Ford Pinto Case J.S. “1971 Ford Pinto – The 50 Worst Cars of All Time”. They hadn’t even done their due diligence when making the decision, as they relied on mathematical formulas as opposed to road tests in their testing. Ed. Second you have to think in terms of the imminent possibility of Ford’s reputation to be ruined beyond foreseeable repair with the unsafe cars. also offered here. The effectiveness of the hedonistic calculus is best demonstrated when used on a serious ethical issue, and the Ford Pinto dilemma is a perfect example for this. Although the Pinto passed the NHTSA test, Ford officials knew that the Pinto was prone to catch fire when struck from the rear, even in low-speed collisions, thus it was unsafe to drive the car without any technical improvements implemented. A Utilitarian Argument in the Ford Pinto Case. This was a seemingly good consequence for Ford Motor Company, only until four people died in 1972 and other incidents happened that created a downward spiral for them. In order to determine whether an action produces more pain or pleasure for the majority, the hedonistic calculus is used. What are three key facts you can find? In conclusion, through the application of act utilitarianism and the hedonistic calculus it is clear that Ford acted unethically in their release of the Pinto. Although the Pinto was initially hugely popular in USA, its sales fell dramatically due to a controversy surrounding the safety of its gas … Iacocca was reacting to specific market forces. While Ford was found not guilty in that one specific case where they were charged with criminal homicide, the fact that roughly 50 lawsuits were brought against Ford, many of which Ford lost, and 21 to 475 lives could have been saved … DeGeorge, Richard T. Business Ethics 7th Edition. It was developed by Jeremy Bentham and introduced to the world in his book An Introduction to the Principles … More specifically, it was Ford's decision to use the cost/benefit analysis detailed in section 11 to make production decisions that … “The Ford Pinto.” Business Ethics: Readings and Cases in Corporate Morality. Utilitarian Paper Ford Pinto Case The ideal ethical business practice, using the utilitarian principle, would consider the good and bad consequences for everyone the action would affect, treat everybody as having equal rights with no bias towards themselves, and would use … Anyone in the Ford family could not have been thinking rationally if they made the decision not to recall because they were risking too many important values that did not carry immediate economic value in 1971, but certainly did after 1976 just five years later! Get a verified writer to help you with A Utilitarian Argument in the Ford Pinto Case. Ford Motor company did a really did a neat job of estimating life values and social components cost of property damage, insurance costs, legal fees, employer losses, funeral, assets and value of each human life in society. The seven factors used in the hedonistic calculus are intensity, duration, certainty, purity, propinquity, fertility, and extent. The infamous Ford Pinto case is one of the most mentioned cases in Business Ethics studies used as an example of cost-benefit analysis. The decision by Ford to not recall any of its cars, and not fix design flaws, conceal the truth of their mistake and roll the dice future incoming lawsuits, damages and loss of human life is the one that I will dissect. Case Analysis: Ford Pinto Utilitarian Stance Section 1: Introduction and Situational Analysis Using mid-size compact cars, international automobile industries had invaded the United States market threatening Ford’s revenues. When Ford began development of the Pinto in 1968, the company hoped that the car’s smaller size and price tag would help it compete with Japanese and German competition, who were mounting their takeover of the subcompact auto market. By clicking Send Me The Sample you agree on the, Human Resource Management Practices at Ford, Self Medication Practices in a Rural Filipino Community, BABSH 3 Supply Chain Management? The Ford Pinto is a subcompact car produced by Ford between the years of 1971 to 1980. But the Pinto case ended utilitarianism; as Chewning notes, “Utilitarianism as a defense against personal harm and injury promptly died, never to be argued again in the public domain” … However, in my estimation, Ford management endangers the integrity of its own safety practices for the small sake … First off is intensity, which is obvious. Additionally, the faulty cost-benefit analysis played a role as well. They should have recalled all the Pintos because the good still outweighs the bad in the end. In particular, foreign automobile manufacturers were creating and selling cheap cars that were cutting into Ford's market share . However, the core of the decisions that the head management of Ford Motor Company had to make to resolve the key issues go far beyond the concept of cost-benefit analysis. About the Ford Pinto. While testing the Pinto, it became apparent that due to the gas tank in the car was at great risk for fire hazard when struck from the rear, even at low speeds. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy. After a cost-benefit analysis of the safety improvements and the potential death toll, Ford decided to release the model without the safety improvements. First, it is focused way too much on numeric dollar values when considering human injuries, company futures, and life lost. Its basic principle is that human nature is ruled by our reactions to pain and pleasure, and the good is the action that maximizes the overall pleasure for the greatest number of people. Web. There may be some who stand by Ford’s actions and would reject the idea that they acted unethically when releasing the Pinto. If we lived in a world where money was equally valuable to reputations, emotions, and even life then their decision may be utilitarian but it is still not ethical. Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company, 1981 The Pinto, a subcompact car made by Ford Motor Company, became infamous in the 1970s for bursting into flames if its gas tank was ruptured in a collision. Basically they thought they would save money, keep up their shareholder price, and have less damage to all involved by not doing anything except “taking it on the chin” with regards to predicted accidents caused by the accident prone fuel tank. The problem is that Ford used a cost-benefit analysis not to upgrade the fuel system even if it lead to more deaths. Act Utilitarianism Applied to the Ford Pinto Release. Forbes, Dan Lienert 1/27/2004. W. Michael Hoffman, Robert E. Frederick, and Mark S. Schwartz. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. However it is narrow minded because it only considers the aspects of living and society status in terms of money values at the current time. Before completing a utilitarian analysis of the Ford Pinto case, it is important to note the historical context in which the situation arose. (2016, Mar 06). I will show how this action uses the “greatest happiness and greatest pleasure” form of Utilitarianism and the true moral flaws that it exposes. Ford Pinto and utilitarian ethics What are the essential features of utilitarianism? Ford realized this but made its decision to not recall the cars based of their own company formulated utilitarian cost benefit analysis and fear of negative company effects. Utilitarian Analysis The Case of the Ford Pinto The Ford Pinto first rolled off the Ford Motor Co. production lines in 1971 and stayed in production in its original state until 1978. As a strategic plan back in 1970, Ford quickly mass produced their own version of mid-size … RELEVANT FACTS Question: 1 29/07/13 MVBE 2 3. Ford Motor Company, led by President Lee Iacocca, discovered that during the sped up engineering and production process it had created the fuel tank vulnerable to fiery rear crashes because of the layout of the car. (657). 4. Varian Patella Philosophy 131 Michael F. Martin 03/08/2010 The Ford Pinto Case and Utilitarianism In this essay, I will talk about the ford Pinto case, and how the information was withheld from public in order to save company from huge losses and at the same time keep company’s reputation Intact. However that is not the world we live in and a company such as Ford needs to think about the multiple negative outcomes of a decision like the Ford Pinto example. By this alternative way, they uphold American Christian values which were at the heart of the inception of the United States values and hold higher moral value any Japanese auto company can hope to have. Selling cars up to current safely regulations to people to benefit their well being and making the country in which they exist in better as well as This calculus makes weighing in on an ethical decision much easier because it allows all the factors involved in the choice to be given equal consideration and when applied correctly, the right choice will be obvious in the end. The vehicle engineers were tasked to develop the vehicle and put it into production within 25 months, which was nearly half the time in … In relating its consequential content to the Ford Pinto case, it would seem that the application of ethics had been dismissed in favour of profits, reputation and unethical practices. The main controversy surrounding the Ford Pinto case was The Ford Motor Company's choices made during development to compromise safety for efficiency and profit maximization. ( Log Out /  all those who purchase their vehicles around the world better. Utilitarianism and The Ford Pinto Case Introduction Business is concerned primarily with profit. It rushed from its inception to its actual production. Stockholders. Propinquity is in pleasure’s favor, as the positive effects felt by Ford were immediate to its release of the car, while the deaths and lawsuits took place over the course of several years and the car was not recalled until 1978, seven years after the release date. Certainty goes to Ford and pleasure, as the early release of the Pinto bringing in more revenue and helping them capture more of a competitive market is practically a foregone conclusion, while deaths associated due to the design flaw, although likely, are not certain. Boosta Ltd - 10 Kyriakou Matsi, Liliana building, office 203, 1082, Nicosia, Cyprus. The 'most good' in the Pinto's case is … The necessary improvements to make the Pinto safer were not complex or costly; they simply needed a barrier between the gas tank and the bumper of the car, which meant an added $5 to $8 to produce each car. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory that promotes consequences which bring the greatest … Mill (77 -78), in arguing in favor of that school of philosophy and ethics called Utilitarianism, made the point that the maximization of personal human happiness is a desirable and even necessary end. Ford Motor company, by their own calculations, saved 87 million by making their decision to not recall cars. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Their estimation showed that it was cheaper to ignore public safety. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (Dover Philosophical Classics). But you must consider human life in terms of a quality like John Stuart Mill’s idea for happiness and quality of life, and for those lost and for those who grieve afterwards, for the hate that is created, and the pain and suffering. They even concluded they would need to pay 87 million dollars less by doing no recalls and just paying for these other future damage costs. An action is deemed morally right if it leads to the greatest possible happiness for the greatest number of people. The lawsuits brought by injured people and their survivors uncovered how the company rushed the Pinto through production and onto the market. There were various ways of making the Pinto’s gas tank safer. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/a-utilitarian-argument-in-the-ford-pinto-case-essay, Copying content is not allowed on this website, Ask a professional writer to help you with your text, Give us your email and we'll send you the essay you need, Please indicate where to send you the sample. Students looking for free, top-notch essay and term paper samples on various topics. Likewise in the Pinto case, Ford’s management whatever its exact reasoning, decided to … Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. September 7, 2007. Abstract: This case is about the design of Ford Pinto specifically the gas tank that was in a dangerous place that would ignite the car in a rear-end collision. Ford Motor Company’s decision uses ideas from one of the utilitarianism founders in Jeremy Bentham. 1. Practically, the calculated social costs of the potential car accidents were not outweighed by the costs of waiting for the release and making … They would have several facts to draw upon in their argument, the most impactful being that the Pinto did not break any of the standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and in certain areas surpassed the government standards. Money creates pleasure for some, and pain for others. In 1972, a Ford Pinto … Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. New Jersey Pearson, 2010. “The worst cars of all time”. Let’s take another look at the Ford Pinto case now that we have the concepts from the Stockholder and Stakeholder views in mind. Ford Pinto Case Study. Although Ford did not break any of the existing NHTSA rules when releasing the Pinto, they had been actively lobbying against new safety standards since the release of the Pinto. 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