Ford Pinto Utilitarianism

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The use of utilitarianism during ethical business decisions dictates that with all things considered equally, the consequences of both good and bad must be examined for everyone that will be affected by the decision. Unfortunately, using utilitarianism in corporate America can prove quite challenging because executives are in the business of making money. One such example is the Ford Pinto case. The late 1960s and early 1970's found the United States losing footing in the automobile industry against foreign imports. In response the Ford Motor Company attempted to gain some ground by producing its own subcompact car. The company introduced the Ford Pinto in 1971. Initially, the car was extremely popular due to its unique design and inexpensive cost. However, controversy soon began due to flaws within the structural design, which resulted in multiple fiery-end collisions. (DeGeorge, 2010) Ford discovered structural defects while the Pinto was in the crash test phase. The placement of the fuel tank…show more content…
While it might seem that the company considered all factors, the most important factor not considered was that even if the life of one person were lost in a fire, the loss would be far greater than any monetary value the company would save or could pay to the families. So injury or death to individuals should be prevented at all costs. 
(Pasquarello, 2006) When we consider society as a whole, Ford established a precedent of placing profits above human life. On one hand, when we consider the good that resulted from Ford's decision it pertains mainly to short term financial gain for and gaining a short-lived competitive advantage. On the other hand, the harm done by the action led to loss of life and property, loss of reputation, and setting a wrong example in the

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