Canceling General Motors Truck Recall

TitleCanceling General Motors Truck Recall
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of PublicationSubmitted
AuthorsLadenson, R
Corporate Authorsof Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, IIT
Date Published04/1995
PublisherCenter for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsENGINEERING , Public Policy , public safety
AbstractIn December of 1994 Transportation Secretary Federico Pena said that he would drop efforts to make General Motors recall pick-up trucks which the Department of Transportation had judged potentially deadly in exchange for $51.3 million from General Motors to support safety programs unrelated to trucks. The Department of Transportation determined, based upon accident rates and other statistics, that 32 people can be expected to die in fires caused in part by the faulty design of the General Motors pick-up trucks before the six million pick-up trucks already on the road are junked. Mr. Pena contended, however, that more lives would be saved through safety programs financed in part by General Motors. For example, he said, one program to buy child safety belts for poor families is expected to save at least 50 lives and prevent 6,000 injuries. Is Secretary Pena's decision in this case ethically justifiable? If so, why? If not, why not?
NotesCase study from the 1995 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright, Robert Ladenson, Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1995.
URLhttp://ethics.iit.edu/EEL/GM.pdf
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