The Ethical Ethics Of The Ford Pinto Car Case

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The Ford Pinto Car was introduced to the market in 1968 with a gas tank placed between the rear axle and the rear bumper, which makes it very sensitive to explode from accidents even at low speeds. “More than two dozen people were killed or injured in Pinto fires before the company issued a recall to correct the problem” (Bazerman and Tenbrunsel 2011).
Ford company adopted the utilitarian approach, by analysing each action taken separately and therefore, valuing the human life and safety in monetary terms. In return, Kant’s ethics of duties should be applied to this case. According to Kant, “categorical imperative” should be applied for every moral issue, and maxims are developed to guide our decisions. (Crane and Matten 2010: 102-105)
Analysis of the ethical theories used
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According to Kant’s maxim 1 described by Crane and Matten (2010: 105), the designer should be unhappy with the death of his own family from a Ford Pinto accident. From the utilitarian view Ford was thinking of the greater benefit, of who benefits the most. The minority of the population suffers through this, and thus gaining more market share and more profits to the company. In an approach to Kant’s maxim 2, the buyer should be informed of the unsafe car that might explode from an accident, where the choices are limited if the buyer cannot afford an expensive
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