Ford Motor Company

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 attached Case Study, “The Ford Pinto Case” in DeGeorge, pp 298-99.

You are to write a paper in which you 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 paper 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.

Although you should go through the steps of a utilitarian analysis before you write the paper, the paper should not list all the steps.  Rather, in writing your paper 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.

Your paper should be 3 to 5 pages and formatted double-spaced, Font size 12, with one-inch margins and will include a properly formatted Works Cited. There should also, be at least 3 sources cited. In citing Internet sources, even if you use several articles from one website, the website itself is an individual source (this is similar to using several articles from one individual newspaper).