It is no secret that companies are known for “cutting corners” in order to make a profit. These cuts could include using cheaper materials in their products in order to decrease the price of production. Often times these cuts come at the expense of the consumers who, unknowingly, purchase these items and suffer the consequences of shoddy workmanship. In this particular article, author Hiroko Tabuchi discusses a major cut back in the auto industry that has called into question the safety of consumers, as well as resulted in loss of life. Tabuchi reveals a shocking history of General Motors and a small Japanese supply company, known as Takata, that dates back 20 years. The company is responsible for the production of air bags that are still used in GM automotives today, despite their dangerous history. These particular air bags are, as Tabuchi writes, “at the heart of the largest automotive safety recall in history”. These air bags are not only used in GM vehicles, but several other companies. The chemicals that are used inside of the airbag, as well as the cheaply made deployment mechanisms, are contributing factors to their dangerous reputation.
This particular story opens up a discussion that seriously questions the ethics and morality of both the car companies as well as car part manufacturers. Some say that business is business and the main objective of these companies is to turn a profit. However, as a leader in a very prevalent industry, it is imperative that you do not overlook the important factor of the consumer satisfaction and safety. The products that they are mass producing have the potential to cause serious physical damage to individuals if they are not made with extreme caution. In this case, airbag safety is called into question. Consumers should feel confident in the fact that their vehicles are being made with care and that their safety on the road is a priority. By turning a blind eye to the ethical aspect of customer safety, in the interest of profit, GM and Takata have seriously compromised their reputation as well as the satisfaction of their consumers.