Business Ethics: How safe is enough-and who decides?

Question 3

Given that all automobiles are unsafe to same degree where do you draw the line on product Safety? How safe enough -and who decides?

I. Company example

Trevino and Nelson (2011) mentioned product safety issue is regarded as one of the basic customer right which may become the determinant on the reputation of a corporate. Hence, we may advocate the statement there is seemed nothing than the product safety issue to put a company out of business faster if it ignores the product safety and produce dangerous products.

There are a variety of examples to emphasize the importance in product safety issue for any business, especially the automobile manufacturing business. When referring to the economy crisis during the year 2008 to 2009, many industry sectors including the tourism industry, financial sector, the airline industry and automobile manufacturing industry have been suffering a lot of attacks especially the heavy financial pressures (Schwarzinger 2010).

During the economy depressing period, there are many problems taking place in the automobile manufacturing industry. Toyoda is a world famous automobile manufacturer in the global market, which once enjoyed a good fame on product safety as well as quality. While in the recent years, its recall incident put Toyota in the dilemma that Toyota had made announcement on the emergency issue to fix its sticky gas pedals which may further upgrade as the acceleration problem and become the nightmare for this global automobile manufacturing giant. Due to this incident, Toyota has no choice but to face the sales halted and billions of dollars loss. And worse still, its reputation as a high quality automobile brand may suffer great damage. (Connor 2010)

II. The degree for product safety in automobile industry

According to Milton (2003), it is seemed there is often involved with safety problems for the automobile products at any speed. And nowadays, there are several issues referring to the product safety in the automobile manufacturing industry including the unintended acceleration such as the recall event in Toyota, stability such as the problem of rollovers and roof crush which even becomes the common problem faced by car owners, risk of rollover due to the instability in the vehicle design, roof crush which even become one of the main causes for terrible injury and even deaths as well as the tyre related problem, the deficient in the quality which may result in terrible traffic accident (Davis 2009).

Hence, with more and more problems taking place related to the product safety issue in the automobile products, it’s time for us to draw the line on product safety based on the actual safety needs of the society as well as the customers.

For one thing, the automobile manufacturing industry refers to the certain kind of industry including both the production of original equipment for motor vehicles and these kinds of products which are demanded aftermarket. For the other, the original equipment refers to these products which are involved into the manufacturing process of the automobile products. Furthermore, the aftermarket products then refer to this kind of product which is divided into two types, namely the replacement product and accessory product.

Therefore, to ensure the certain degree of product safety in the automobile products are relatively tough tasks to offer reasonable and effective standard to ensure the safety of each manufacturing process as well as each components and the aftermarket products. Based the research from Spier (2011), we offer the standard to outline the line for product safety on automobile products to meet the needs both from the customers and the society.

As there are so many processes involved in the automobile manufacturing industry, the line to determine the product safety should including the following.

First, the quality of the manufacturing process for automobile product body to meet the requirement of both the regulation of government and the actual situation namely from the needs of customers and the society is important. If the automobile product can’t meet the most basic requirement, it can’t be regarded as safe (Spier 2011).

Second, these important components including the carburetor, piston, valves and so on are also important parts for automobile manufacturers to pay full attention. By and large, if the automobile products meet this quality standard that these components can fulfill, the automobile products then can be regards own the elementary safety factor(Spier 2011).

Third, the safety ratio in both the engine of gasoline and other engine parts should also be carefully design and manufacture (Spier 2011).

Fourth, lighting equipment for the automobile product should also meet the safety standards set by the government as well as the actual needs of the market (Spier 2011).

Fifth, the steering components, suspension components, brake system, seating system, as well as other components and systems of an automobile are also so important for the automobile manufacturers to pay full attention to ensure this product not only meet the requirements of related safety policies and regulations but also the real needs of the market(Spier 2011).

By and large, the above issues referring to the product safety in automobile products belong to the compulsory clauses, which every automobile product should meet, or else they may loss the chance to be introduced to the market.

Furthermore, for each automobile manufacturer, the product safety issue may not be so easy confined into these legal documents. Although the world economy is still in a relatively downturn period, the competition among automobile manufacturers both in the domestic market and the international market becomes more and more fierce. Hence, the requirement on product safety may be injected with new content (Spier 2011).

For instance, besides the safety level, the comfort levels of the automobile products are also regarded as one of the components inside the product safety issue. Therefore, automobile manufacturers have to try their best to meet these new requirements on product safety under the influence of market trend and economy developing level of the customers in the society (Spier 2011).

Generally speaking, based on our discussion above on the automobiles’ product safety issue, we may infer the conclusion that the actual safety level of the automobile products are far beyond the requirements on some legal regulations which are determined not only by the government but also the actual situation of the market including the requirements from the customers and the economy.

In a word, the right to determine the level of product safety is owned by the customers and economic status of the market.


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