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The Ford Pinto Case Study

A number of critics have claimed that the Ford Motor Company acted unethically in producing the Ford Pinto as it did, knowing that it could have been made safer by adding an inexpensive part. Read carefully the Case Study, "The Ford Pinto Case" in De George, pp 298-99.

You are to decide on the basis of the best utilitarian analysis you can construct, whether Ford Motor's decision to produce as it did was ethically justifiable. Your discussion should show that you understand what using a utilitarian approach to evaluating a moral issue involves. You should clearly describe the action that you are evaluating. You should present the various considerations that lead you to make the moral judgment you make about the action. Be sure to consider all the consequences of the action you analyze for all those affected by the action. Do not focus only on the cost-benefit analysis presented in the case.

Assume you are writing for a general audience (many of whom may disagree with you), and write in such a way as to try and convince your readers, by the strength of your analysis, that you are correct in your moral judgment. Hence, you should present and develop the utilitarian arguments that lead to your judgment, and you should not simply state your beliefs. Your analysis should conclude, as a result of the utilitarian analysis you have made, with the conclusion to which that analysis leads. Be careful not to prejudge the case either by describing it as unethical (or ethically justifiable) to begin with or by concluding it is justifiable (or unjustifiable) before you finish the analysis. To help you through the steps of a utilitarian analysis there's a guide on page 56 in your text.

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The action of Ford that is being considered is the fact that even though Ford knew that Pinto had failed the rear-end impact, Ford continues to sell Pinto without protective baffles. This action led to several fiery-end collisions. The action that Ford had taken was that it did a cost benefit analysis by way of comparing the cost of baffles with the cost of lawsuits that would result from collisions.
This action did not affect merely the customers who had purchased the defective cars but the reputation of the company, the CEO and his team of managers that had marketed the cars, the dealers that sold the cars, and the victims of the inflammations.
There is a very important factor that has an impact in such a case. The important factor considered by the company was the cost to the company and the money it would incur in lawsuits. However, the most important factor is that even if the life of one person were lost in the fire the ...

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This answer provides you an excellent discussion on The Ford Pinto Case Study

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