Monday, November 26, 2018

Ford Motor Company: seat belt fire recall (2018)

-Joseph Motta

2017 Ford F-series Super Duty

Background :
Ford Motor company was founded by Henry Ford on June 16th 1903.Not long after on October 1, 1908 the first production Model T Ford, this is where it all began. Today ford is the second largest United states auto maker generating about $7.6 billion in 2017 which grew 65% from the prior year.  Ford motor company is not only the second largest United States automaker, but their product the F-series pickup trucks have been the United States number one sold vehicle for decades.


During the fall leading into 2018 Ford motor company and received word about 17 instances of occurrences where the pretensioners inside the seat belt mechanism cause a fire in there line of f-series pickup trucks.When this small explosion takes place in the seat belt mechanism a gas is released, this gas has potential to ignite from high static and friction of the seat belt retracting and locking in place. This potential fire risk is because of insulation and carpet like material in the door/seat belt area which is flammable. As a result, ford had to issue a recall totaling about 2 million f-series pickup trucks from the years 2015 to 2018 This includes crew cabs, 4-doors, and super cab trucks as well. which is all pickups manufactured from March 12, 2014 through August 23rd 2018 in Dearborn Mich, from August 20th 2014, through August 23rd 2018, in Kansas City.  The two million trucks will result in a loss of approximately $140 million in capital for Ford. This recall affected 1.62 million U.S. vehicles, 340,000 in Canada and 37,000 in Mexico.

Ford orders massive F-150 recall over fire-hazard seat beltsIndividualism:

Theorist Milton Friedman said “The only goal of business is to profit, so the only obligation that the business person has is to maximize profit for the owners or stockholders”(Salazar 17). Friedman also believes these profits must be earned in a” legal way". Ford is attempting to abide by those standards, an example would be issuing the recall is lawfully the correct thing to do because the manufacturing mistake is to blame. therefore Ford is law abiding in the situation, but are they profiting? the answer is no, issuing a recall is a dramatic loss in capital. It can be seen by the stakeholders or the public as a social responsibility issuing the recall. Machan's theory of individualism had what Friedman's lacked, and that is the aspect of social responsibility . Machan believed that the manufacturer needs to be liked by the customers first in order to stay afloat in business. Ford actions taken by issuing a recall have helped them in the long run, and customers being happy they will not have to pay for a mistake in manufacturing .

Utilitarianism :

The utilitarianism theory states we need to follow whatever action leads us to good things and avoid bad things, when good things happen it will benefit the economy(Salazar 17). This case is viewed by the utilitarian in the sense that they are trying to right their wrongs. A mistake in manufacturing should not lead to the total decline of the business, but as a result Ford made the rational choice of issuing the recall because it will lead to better things in the future. Bad things have already arrived so the only thing the utilitarian can do is accept this problem and do what will lead to a better future Therefore Ford's actions in this cause can be determined to have minor utilitarian traits.

Kantianism :

The kantian would view this situation and make two assumptions, one is we need to respect our customers needs and two we need to make rational choices. The customer is mainly the individual who has been affected by this recall because they have to take time and effort to go out of there way to fix it now. Therefore the rational choice ford and chosen to make is issuing a recall. It will hold the manufacturer accountable for the mistake and apologize to the customers and stakeholders. The loss in capital does not affect the kantian because they are not money motivated. The kantian just simply says "we made a mistake, "so now we will fix it". Most if not all of kantians theories support fords decisions, this is why it may be one of the most influential theories practiced.

Virtue theory:

A virtue theorist in this case would have similar actions to the utilitarian and the kantian. They support ideas of having respect and making rational choices. virtue theorist at time say " what causes this organism to thrive". the organism would be our model-f series pickup trucks and the only thing allowing the business to thrive would be the customers. That being said no customer is happy when there seat belt all of a sudden burst into flames. Virtue theorists use honesty, courage, temperance, and justice, these four core virtues are what theorist believe causes businesses to function properly. Therefore Fords actions and results from this case can be concluded that they respect their customers needs and need to make rational choices for their stakeholders and future customers by being dependable.

These facts and analyses are based on an original essay conducted by Joseph Motta :  FORD: SEAT BELT FIRE RECALL (2018)

-Bomey, Nathan. “Ford Recalls 2 Million F-150 Pickup Trucks to Fix Seat Belt Defect Causing Fires.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 7 Sept. 2018,

-Gastelu, Gary. “Ford Recalling 2 Million F-150s Due to Fire Risk.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 6 Sept. 2018,

-Kennedy, Merrit. “2 Million Ford Trucks Recalled Because Of Reported Seat Belt Fires.” NPR, NPR, 6 Sept. 2018,

-Prang, Allison. “Ford Recalls Two Million Trucks After Reports of Seat-Belt Malfunction.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 7 Sept. 2018,

-Shepardson, David. “Ford Recalls Two Million Trucks over Seat Belt Fire Risk - ET Auto.”, 7 Sept. 2018,
-Shepardson, David. “Ford Recalls Two Million Trucks over Seat Belt Fire Risk.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 6 Sept. 2018,

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