Ford: Air Bag Recall(2017)
Millions of ford vehicles today, are being driven with deadly airbags that blow up in small collision accidents. This is due to faulty airbag inflators that degrade over time in warm and humid climate zones. Ford has put several recalls out to get these airbags replaced which has totaled up to over 1.5 million. Many other auto manufacturers are affected by these unstable airbags totaling 42 million vehicles which makes it the largest recall in United States history. Since other auto manufactures get their airbags from the same company many of vehicles need replacement airbags and there is not enough airbags for everyone. So when people go in to get them replaced dealerships do not have the parts for it. Fortune.com says that when these cars were being produced Fords very own inflation experts believed that these inflation systems were unstable and sensitive to moisture. Fords directors overrode their objections because they thought that was the only supplier that could provide the large number of inflators that they needed. These airbags were also 30% cheaper than the safer airbags. Ford has resulted in putting in the same faulty airbags with a drying agent to try and get the airbags to last a little bit longer since there is not a permanent fix. Customers are unhappy with Ford since they are not getting safe airbags put in and so many people are getting injured.
Stake holders are anyone who is affected by the decisions a company or business makes. The stake holders of this recall are the people who own the defective cars, their families, the company’s executives, and the companies’ shareholders. The owner’s families could lose a relative because of a minor accident. Losing a family member because of faulty airbags would be devastating and not fair to the family. The owners of the cars because they are at risk of serious injury or death even in minor accidents from the one thing designed to actually keep you safe. The company’s executives because they overrode what the inflator experts were saying and decided to go with the cheaper airbag inflators. Then the shareholders because less people would want to buy these cars because of how many recalls there are so the value of each share might go down even though it would be hard to prove that it is actually from that recall that their shares went down.
Individualism is when a company maximizes its profits within the law. This controversy does not pass individualism because ford is not maximizing their profits within the law. The airbag company, Takata went bankrupt from all the court ordered fines they had to pay. They had to pay $850 million in reimbursement for all the replacements that now have to be done. The airbags were 30% cheaper so they were maximizing profit. Ford tried to stop more vehicles from being recalled but they were denied by the NHTSA. Since they were denied it shows that they were not within the law.
Utilitarianism is when everyone in the business transaction are happy in the long run. In this case no one is happy because now Ford has to deal with over a million recalls and the company that Ford has gotten their airbags from have to pay for all the knew airbags to be replaced. With some of their vehicle’s like the Ford Ranger it is so bad that they actually can not be driven and have to bring people rental cars to drive around until the airbags can be fixed according to Forbes magazine. Ford is not happy about this because they have to pay for the rental vehicles. Also the customers are not happy because they now have unsafe airbags that they are driving around with every day. The victims of the faulty airbags are also not happy because they were injure from these airbags or in some cases people were killed.
The basic principles of Kantianism are to act rationally, allow other people to make rational decisions, respect people and being motivated by good will. Essentially meaning doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. In this case ford did not do the right thing because their own inflator experts said that the airbags are faulty and they still went and put them into their cars. Instead of doing the right thing and not using those airbags they decided to use them anyway because they thought their was no other companies that could produce the amount of airbags needed.
This also does not follow virtue theory because virtue theory is being courageous, honest, justice or fairness and temperance. The courageous thing for ford to do would have been to replace the airbags as soon as they knew they were no good. It is also not fair to people who are victims of these faulty airbags because now they have to deal with the injuries from a part that is designed to keep them safe. Ford is also not being temperate because Takata can’t produce enough airbags so they should change companies.
Boudette, Neal E. “Ford and Mazda Hope to Be Removed From Latest Airbag Recall.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 July 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/business/ford-mazda-airbag-recall-exclusion.html.
Kiley, David. “Takata Settles Airbag Recall, But Millions Of Car Owners Still Waiting For Replacements.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 12 Feb. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/davidkiley5/2018/02/12/takata-settles-airbag-recall-but-millions-of-car-owners-still-waiting-for-replacements/#331b2eb37f74.
Weinstein, Bruce. “Here's How the Takata Air Bag Recall Could Have Been Avoided.” Fortune, 6 Mar. 2017, fortune.com/2017/03/06/takata-air-bag-recall/.