BA541Case9 - BA541 Business Ethics Lesson #4 Assignment #7...

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BA541 Business Ethics Lesson #4 Assignment #7 Read Case #9, "Ford's Pinto Fires" on pages 158-164 of Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach (4th Edition). Consider and respond to the following questions. 1. The Ford Pinto met federal safety standards, yet it had a design flaw that resulted in serious injuries and deaths. Is simply meeting safety standards a sufficient design goal of ethical companies? In the case of the Pinto, Ford was trying to come up with a lightweight car with a reasonable price tag. In a perfect world, automobile manufacturers would always exceed the minimal federal safety standards. But these features cost money, and the costs of having more advanced safety equipment would be passed along to consumers. With increased gas prices, consumers likely do not want to spend even more money on their automobiles. U.S. safety standards are by definition the standard, which must be met. When the expert engineers develop these standards, they likely keep safety in mind the best they can. Despite all of the safety features in the world, people will still be injured or killed in automobile accidents. The laws of physics continue to apply. I do not believe that if an automobile manufacturer only merely meets these standards, then they are unethical. Added safety features are something that the consumer can shop for when buying an automobile. Recently, the Smart Car has come to the U.S. While the American models are brought up to our safety standards, the fact remains that such a small car will not do well in an accident. It has been proposed that the reason why they are not as much of a safety concern in Europe is that the majority of cars there, in general, are smaller. Any situation where there is a mismatch of vehicle size will lead to a worse outcome for the smaller
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This note was uploaded on 05/09/2011 for the course BA 541 taught by Professor Leiter during the Spring '11 term at Andrew Jackson.

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BA541Case9 - BA541 Business Ethics Lesson #4 Assignment #7...

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