Also, some things just can't be measured in terms of dollars, and that includes human life. It is plausible to believe, then, that because of these costs, Ford decided not to improve the Pinto's design, knowing that its decision would increase the chances of the loss of consumer life. Next, it can be argued that all things must have some common measure. With those theories in mind, we should analyze what we know of the Pinto case and try to determine what choices each of those theories would have recommended. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.
Ford and other automobile manufacturers objected to the more stringent fuel system safety standard and filed objections during the required comment periods of the proposed regulations. The case is also cited as an example of irrational punitive damage awards. Based on the facts of Carroll Towing, the defendant was found liable. Although Ford had access to a new design which would decrease the possibility of the Ford Pinto… 1894 Words 8 Pages 1. To do a complete job of analyzing Ford's decision, the variables inside the equation must be examined. With this widespread attitude among those who make up juries, trial lawyers would not be wise; to defend cases on the economic analysis of why it was not efficient to redesign a faulty model.
Ford did not deem the fuel leakage as a major design flaw, because they did not undertake any retooling efforts. The judge in the case advised jurors that Ford should be convicted if it had clearly disregarded the harm that might result from its actions, and that disregard represented a substantial deviation from acceptable standards of conduct. For a defendant to be found liable, its product must be determined to be defective. Stakeholder theory is not the only alternative, either, but it does give Stockholder theory a run for its money. The vehicle headlights were turned on to provide a possible ignition source.
This book brings together the basic documents needed for reaching an informed judgment on the central ethical question in the Pinto case: did Ford Motor Company act ethically in designing the Pinto fuel system and in deciding not to upgrade the integrity of that system until 1978? Arjay Miller, then company president, had been involved in a fiery crash while driving his new 1965 Lincoln Continental. This is where the efficiency standard ran into trouble in the Ford Pinto case. But others again saw no design flaws—after all, the Pinto met internal company standards, and no contradictory external standard existed. The Pinto was a painful lesson for Ford, which now routinely builds some of the safest cars on the road. So the fix was nixed, and the Pinto went into production in September 1970.
The Pinto's famous safety flaw, of course, was that it was prone to blowing up if rear-ended. As the advancements created new products and the profits that went with them, courts had to decide what levels of risk society could tolerate and who should bear the costs when harms actually occurred. Southern California Law Review: 134. Rather than as a mere reference tool for educators and other professionals, this book could be successful in the classroom in a way that no other anthology or collection of short case studies could be. .
Under normal conditions design, styling, product planning, engineering, etc. See Wheeler, supra note 4, at 15. Are the customers better served by having something in the market that they can buy, or by producing a car that is out of their fiscal reach? Ford publicly announced it supported the standard. The interior included red, white and blue cloth and vinyl bucket seats, full carpeting and a deluxe steering wheel. While this case is an especially devastating example of the dangers that can pose to the general public, many other types of product defect cases in the United States have helped to hold manufacturers accountable for the consequences their actions can have.
We must also consider indirect consequences as well though. The balancing approach assumes that if an accident has a very low probability, and there is a cost associated with preventing it, a defendant is not liable if he does not take precautionary measures. As such, it is up to engineers to greatly reduce the risks of harm. The of this article is. Hand was adumbrating, perhaps unwittingly, an economic meaning of negligence.
Most people did not die in fiery auto crashes. In a negligence case, Hand said, the judge or jury should attempt to measure three things: the magnitude of the loss if an accident occurs; the probability of the accident's occurring; and the burden of taking precautions that would avert it. This is due to the fact that, people were unaware that Pinto could entail great risks for their safety. This shows that production of Ford Pinto car was unethical as any utilitarian would agree. Human lives are invaluable because there is no limit to the capabilities and the potential abilities of a human being. The Pinto was marketed in three body styles through its production: a two-door fastback sedan with a trunk, a three-door hatchback, and a two-door station wagon. Based on these reasons, attempts to quantify something such as a human life can be very difficult and is the most debated aspect of the Ford Pinto case.
The tests that Ford did with the Pinto showed them that the car posed a danger to the occupants in certain situations, but Ford also knew that all cars could pose a danger to their occupants in some situations. If compensation for death is no longer based on the financial circumstances of the victim, however, how can the United States legal system determine the value of a life? When this practice was revealed, the American public was shocked by its morbid nature. The safety record of the car in terms of fire was average or slightly below average for compacts, and all cars respectively. A second potential party open to a civil suit was the Indiana Highway department. Two landmark legal cases, Grimshaw vs Ford and State of Indiana vs Ford resulted from fatal accidents involving Pintos. Archived from on February 20, 2010. Ford's entry was delayed by internal debate.