Since its creation, Toyota has the reputation of making reliable and beautiful cars. Despite that, Toyota acted unethically. The company disregarded the safety of its customers and employees by delaying the recall of some of its cars that it knew had some brakes and airbags issue. Toyota is a well know car brand. All over the world people drive Toyota’s cars with confidence. Unfortunately, this company dishonest behavior tends to show that the people at his base are immoral. All they seem to care about is profit. It does not matter the consequences even if it means the death of an individual.
Business ethics are moral principles that govern the work environment. According to the book business Law, “Ethics provides values beyond what the law requires or prohibits.”(20) It is “the commitment to what is right and a rejection of what is wrong.”(20) In other words, an ethical conduct is one that is in accordance with the social rules. It is not because something is unethical that it is unlawful. In the Toyota case even though Toyota acts were unethical, they were not against the law.
According to the lecture, Toyota seems to have adopted Milton Friedman’s vision. It uses the “shareholder model” of ethics. In other words, Toyota follows the law and provides revenue to shareholders. This corporation action goes against the definition of ethics. Ethics are “the standards of moral and conduct governing decisions in the work environment.”(Prezi slide5) Toyota approach of this issue which is the recall of deficient cars is purely about profits. For Toyota, as long as it respects the law nothing else matter not even people’s safety and life. Toyota business approach is based on Friedman’s argument. According to Friedman, “organizations have a responsibility to maximize profit while obeying the law.” (Prezi slide 18) In his book Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman says that "There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud." It seems like Toyota’s leaders applied Friedman’s approach. The more important is profit provided that one abide the law. The less a company will spend, the more its shareholders will get. For Toyota, the end justifies the means. By retarding the recall, the company saved money and that is all that matter.
Toyota did not respect their social responsibility. As a company it should consider equally making profit, the society well-being and consumer contentment. It cannot only focus on how much money the company is making if that mean it stops caring about customers’ safety. In this case, it is a matter of life or death. By preventing the immediate recall, Toyota put its customers and employees in danger. As businesspundit.com mention in its article Toyota Ignored Safety Concerns to Save Money...