Ford Pinto

One of the best-known and infamous cases in corporate ethics and social responsibility involves the Ford Pinto. The case involved the decision by the Ford Motor Company during the 1970s not to recall its Pinto model, despite knowledge of a dangerous fuel tank design flaw and the potential loss of life that would result. It also involved, for the first time, charges that were brought against a corporation not just for negligence but for murder.

In 1976, Ford was the second largest manufacturer of automobiles, with revenues of $30 billion a year and net income of almost $1 billion. Due to concern over competition over subcompact vehicles from Germany and Japan, Ford President Lee Iacocca was determined to manufacture a car at or below £2,000 ...

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