Ethical Analysis of General Motors Ignition Switch Scandal

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General Motors was founded by William Durant on September 16, 1908. At its inception, GM owned only the Buick Motor Company, but acquired Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Pontiac within ten years of its formation. Demand for automobiles heightened between 1910-1929, allowing General Motors to set the standard for production, design and marketing innovation. GM diversified their selection and opened more than a dozen new plants outside of the United States. In 1927, the head of GM's design studio, Harley Earl, designed the LaSalle which marked the beginning of true automotive design as it was far less boxy than the Ford Model T. "In 1940, former GM President William Knudesen was chosen by President Roosevelt as Chairman of the new Wartime Office of Production Management." During WWII, GM supplied the Allies with more goods than any other company, delivering more than $12 billion worth of materials including airplanes, trucks and tanks. Between 1960-1979, environmental concerns led to a downsizing of vehicles across all GM lines, making it the largest reengineering program ever undertaken in the industry. The emphasis on environmental responsibility ushered in an age of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. GM was the first to offer an air bag in a production car, and they introduced the catalytic converter to reduce emissions. This technology is still used by the entire auto industry today. After Germany and Japan recovered from the devastation of WWII, they began exporting cars to the U.S which eroded GM's dominance of the auto industry in the U.S market. Thus, the 1980s and 1990s brought a new urgency for GM to operate as a single global company to improve the efficiency of its operations and better compete ...

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...switch defect. In order to harbour public trust, GM should hire an unbiased law firm to conduct the investigation so that a fair, ethical and reasonable outcome is reached.

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