Ford Pinto Case Analysis; Pinto Fuel Tank

Ford Pinto Case.

Ford Pinto Case
Ford Pinto Case

The Ford Pinto case is a well-known case that is often discussed in the context of business ethics.

To summarize, Ford’s design of the Pinto’s fuel tank was defective, causing fires if the Pinto was involved in even minor rear-end collisions.

Ford came to learn of the defect, but the company failed to correct it; Ford then predicted, based on a cost-benefit analysis, that it would cost more to repair the defect ($11 per vehicle, or $137 million total) than it would to pay for damages resulting from burn deaths, burn injuries, and burned vehicles ($47.5 million).

Consider the Ford Pinto case in light of the who-how (WH) framework for business ethics.

  1. Would Ford’s decision to forego repairing the defective design comply with these ethical guidelines? If so, why?
  2. If not, then what actions should Ford have taken to satisfy them? Explain your reasoning.
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