, Research Paper
It Is Not An Ethical Dilemma, But Is It Their Social Responsibility?
The Firestone/Bridgestone and Ford Explorer Tire Recall
The business world has many complicated and through documents that explain companies ethics and social responsibility. The Firestone/Bridgestone brand name along with Ford Motor Company is at the peak of controversy over a tire recall that these two companies are involved in. The tires are Firestone/Bridgestone 15″ ATX and ATX II models and Wilderness AT tires were manufactured and placed on Ford Motor Companies popular SUV the Explorer. The tire seems to have a defect that causes the tread to separate from the whole of the tire and role the vehicle, the Explorers in most cases over. In some of the cases fatal accidents have occurred from the rollovers. Theses companies need to understand that action needs to be taken place to resolve these accidents and prevent more from occurring. This is not an ethical dilemma but the social responsibility of Firestone/Bridgestone or Ford Motor Company. Neither has taken the responsibility.
In a recent edition of a business journal, The Economist, the tire recall was investigated. The article reported that nearly six and a half million tires were being recalled in a joint effort by Firestone/Bridgestone and Ford Motor Company. The article reported that Ford announce that their Explorer SUV contained the Firestone/Bridgestone tires that seem to be separating tire tread away from the base of the tire. In fact they predicted that one out of every four thousand tires on their Explorers was defective.
The article then told of how the tires were supposed to be under a warranty. The warranty was not funded by the maker of the Explorer on which the tire were causing accidents, but by Firestone/Bridgestone the tire manufacturer. The tire recall now being conducted in the United States was similar to one done in Venezuela by Firestone/Bridgestone and Ford for tire separation in that country. The death toll in Venezuela was larger than the United States according to the article. The article also told of how neither Firestone/Bridgestone nor Ford Motor Company knew of the cause of this tire separation both knew in the American tires that tire were all made in a factory in Decatur, Illinois. The plant was under a labor dispute at the time of the tire production. It was estimated that nearly 2% of the plants total tire production were deemed defective. The article reported of how Ford Motor Company was grateful that the American catastrophe was significantly less then the Venezuelan incidents.
The second resource that I research was a web base site called, Firestone Tire Recall Information Center. This site was a complete overview of the tire recall under way being conducted by Firestone/Bridgestone and Ford Motor Company. The site contain everything from news release about the tire recall to personal stories of those effected by accidents that were caused by tire separations of Firestone/Bridgestone on Ford Explorers. The part of the site that I particularly read was the overview of the tire recall.
The overview described how the tire recall was issued by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in the United States. The recall was to be conducted by Firestone/Bridgestone and Ford Motor Company. This happened in May of 2000. The site reported that Ford affirmed that they knew about the tire recall for only Firestone/Bridgestone 15″ ATX and ATX II models and Wilderness AT tires. This was stated to ensure that no 16 tires were experiencing similar tire separation. Then the site reported that Ford Motor company had documents that indicated company officials had data that Firestone tires installed on Explorer sport-utility vehicles had little or no margin for safety in top-speed driving at the tire pressures Ford recommended. The site then described on how Ford Motor Company and Firestone/Bridgestone disputed on to how much tire pressure was needed for the tires to be considered safe.
Firestone/Bridgestone, according to the site, denied all blame of the tire separation problem. They felt that the problem was involved in the manufacturing process of Ford and consumer handling of the tire in driving situations. The site reported that Firestone/Bridgestone noticed that the majority of the tire separation incidents happened in southern states where high temperatures occurred along with tire pressure problems this was the source of the tire separation problem.