COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT OF COMMON ENGINEERING

COEB 422 ENGINEERS IN SOCIETY REPORT
GROUP PROJECT: QUESTION 1 “SHOULD A COMPANY REVEAL/REPLACE DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS EVEN IF CUSTOMERS WON’T RECOGNIZES THE DEFECTS?”
LECTURER’S NAME: Assoc. Prof. Dr. NORASHIDAH BTE MD. DIN SECTION: 02 GROUP MEMBER: MOHD AFIQ AFIFE B. ABAS
JOSHUA SIGAR ATING AHMAD TARMIZI B SHAHANOM NADIRA BT. MOHD FAUZI MUHAMMAD AQIF BIN ISMAIL MUHAMMAD FIRDAUS BIN BADARUDDIN MUHAMAD SAFIG BIN AMIR HAMZAH MUHAMAD FAIZ BIN JUHARI (CE085310) (CE087017) (EP085428) (EE085989) (EE084975) (EE086335) (ME086165) (CE085313)

INDEX
NO. 1 2 3 INTRODUCTION. ETHICAL ACTIONS THAT SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT Engineer Responsibilities
   Before The Product Being Sold When The Flaw Becomes Apparent Product After Being Sold

TITLE

PAGE NO. 2 3-6 7-17

4

Surveys
   Surveys form Graph Analysis

18-21

5

Case Studies Case study 1:  Toyota Products Failure
Case study 2:  The Space shuttle Challenger Accident Case study 3:  Common Incident: Furniture Case study 3:  Common Incident: Food Products

22-33

6 7 8

CONCLUSION. REFERENCES. APPENDIX

34 35 36

1

INTRODUCTION
Engineering is an important and learned profession. As an engineer, they are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behaviour that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct. There are several duties that shall be fulfilled by engineer. The first duty is to hold paramount safety, health and welfare of the public. Besides that, they have to perform services only in areas of their competence and issue a public statement only in an objective and truthful manner. The most important is they have to avoid deceptive acts and conduct themselves honourably, responsibly, ethically and lawfully to enhance the honour reputation and usefulness of the profession. In this project, we need to discuss whether a company should reveal/replace defective products even if customers won’t recognise the defect. Based on the Code of Ethics of Engineers, they should avoid all conduct or practice that deceives the public. Besides that, they should also avoid the use of statements containing a material misrepresentation of fact or omitting a material fact or omitting a material fact. Furthermore, an engineer shall be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity. They shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the facts. On top of that, they shall advise their clients or employers when they believe a project will not be successful. So it is safe to say that a company should reveal or replace the defective products even if customers won‘t recognize it. An engineer should be responsible in finding product that has defects before the product being sold and after the product being sold.

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The following are examples of where a design engineer might be concerned with legal and ethical issues:  Preparing a contract to secure the services of a product data management firm. criminal liability. or that simply damage the reputation of a business can all be considered examples of bad business ethics. company and everyone minds for sure converging to the design engineers.ETHICAL ACTIONS THAT SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT Business ethics are the principles of conduct by which a company operates. This includes how the company owners want to manage the business and how the owners expect the employees to conduct themselves.  Protecting the intellectual property created as part of a new product development activity. the main point highlighted here was the ethical actions that need to be carried out especially by the engineers to encounter this problem. But the question is what should the company take into consideration when this kind of dilemma occurs? What steps and actions they should take? And the most important thing is on what are the ethical actions that need to be carried out by a company that faces with this dilemma? Above all.  Reviewing a contract to determine whether a contractor who built an automated production facility has satisfactorily fulfilled the terms of a contract. When we talk about product defects and the engineers responsibilities. Actions that result in civil lawsuits.  Managing a design project to avoid the possibility of a product liability suit. Design engineer‘s takes great responsibilities when this kind of this dilemma occurs. 3 . This kind of problem really leaves bad impact and remarks on the good name of the company.  Deciding whether to take a job with a direct competitor that is bidding on a contract in the area where you are now working. Another dilemma the company will experience is when they encountered any products defect when the products have already in the marketplace.  Deciding whether it is legal and ethical to reverse engineer a product. the first thing that pop-out in customers.

Like morality. Keep promises and contracts. standards of ethical conduct are value-based. By professional ethics we mean those standards of conduct that every member of a profession expects every other member to follow. Show compassion to others. Show fairness in your dealings with others.We start by making a distinction between morality and professional ethics. Be honest in all actions. Morality refers to those standards of conduct that apply to all individuals within society rather than only to members of a special group. These are the standards that every rational person wants every other person to follow and include standards such as the following:       Respect the rights of others. integrity and reputation for achievement  Knowledge—gained through education and experience  Efficiency—producing effectively with minimum of unnecessary effort  Diligence—persistent effort  Loyalty—allegiance to employer‘s goals  Confidentiality—dependable in safeguarding information  Protecting public safety and health 4 . Note that each of these standards of conduct is based on the italicized values. These ethical standards apply to members of that group simply because they are members of that professional group. Consider the welfare of others. Some values that are pertinent to professional ethics include:  Honesty and truth  Honor—showing respect.

the strong emphasis on product liability has placed renewed emphasis on quality engineering as a way to limit the incidence of product liability.  Make a careful study of the relationships between your product and upstream and downstream components.  Take every precaution to assure that there is strict adherence to industry and government standards. An attempt should be made to identify the possible ways a product can become unsafe and tests should be devised to evaluate those aspects of the design. Product liability refers to the legal actions by which an injured party seeks to recover damages for personal injury or property loss from the producer or seller of a product. the product being marketed is defective. The ethical actions are.  When failure modes are discovered. Court decisions on product liability coupled with consumer safety legislation have placed greater responsibility for product safety on the designer. in fact. the design should be modified to remove the potential cause of failure. but it certainly lessens the possibility of product defects. You are required to know how malfunctions upstream and downstream of your 5 . Product liability suits are pursued under the laws of consumers. The following ethical actions of the design process should be emphasized to minimize potential problems from product liability.  The finest quality-control techniques available will not absolve the manufacturer of a product liability if.  All products should be thoroughly tested before being released for sale.PRODUCT LIABILITY Another ethical action that should be taken was the most important actions that called as product liability. However. Conformance to standards does not relieve or protect the manufacturer from liability.

 Create a means of incorporating legal developments in product liability into the design decision process. complete records will help establish an atmosphere of competent behavior. and size and the precise wording of the label must be developed after joint meetings of the engineering. It is particularly important to get legal advice from the product liability angle on innovative and unfamiliar designs. color.  Documentation of the design. the existence of good.  There should be a formal design review before the product is released for production. it is necessary to be able to pinpoint products by serial or lot number. testing.  Documentation is the single most important factor in winning or losing a product liability lawsuit. You should warn users of any hazards of foreseeable misuses based on these system relationships.product may cause failure to your product. legal. If there is a product recall. Use international warning symbols. The appropriate symbols. The design of warning labels and user instruction manuals should be an integral part of the design process. and manufacturing staffs. If there is a product liability suit. marketing. and quality activities can be very important. 6 .

Similarly. electrical standards. The United States is virtually alone in its adherence to a non-metric system. and service. such as packaging. Labelling.S. should local brands or private labels be employed to heighten local interest? 7 . the manufacturer can determine whether a special motor must be substituted or arrange for a different drive ratio to achieve the desired operating revolutions per minute. Even instruction or maintenance manuals should take care to give dimensions in centimeters. weights in grams or kilos. warranties. and U. temperatures in Celsius degrees and etc. Branding. the exporter should be aware that even fundamental aspects of its products may require changing.Engineer Responsibilities 1) Before The Product Being Sold In addition to adaptations related to cultural and consumer preference. These electrical standards sometimes vary even in the same country. It is not unusual to find phases. For example. many kinds of equipment must be engineered in the metric system for integration with other pieces of equipment or for compliance with the standards of a given country. Knowing this requirement. Company such as:  Are international brand names important to promote and distinguish a product? Conversely. firms that compete successfully in the global market realize that conversion to metric measurement is an important detail in selling to overseas customers.S. cycles. Branding and labelling products in foreign markets raise new considerations for the U. and Packaging Consumers are concerned with both the product itself and the product's supplementary features. electrical standards in many foreign countries differ from U.S. or voltages (for both residential and commercial use) that would damage or impair the operating efficiency of equipment designed for use in the United States.

professional approaches equal or out pull "glitzy" ads and mailings repeatedly. In many tests of ads and direct mailings.S. "The engineer is a human being first and an engineer second." There is a raging debate about whether engineers respond better to a straight technical approach.      Can labels be produced in official or customary languages if required by law or practice? Does information on product content and country of origin have to be provided? Are weights and measures stated in the local unit? Must each item be labelled individually? Are local tastes and knowledge considered? A dry cereal box picturing a U. Avoid writing that sounds like "ad copy. The lesson for the business-to-business marketer? Make your advertising and direct mail informational and professional. Engineers look down on advertising and advertising people. for the most part. not gimmicky or promotional. I have seen straightforward. And I see this result repeated time and time again. there is much evidence to the contrary. 8 ."  Engineers want to believe they are not influenced by ad copy . Those who prefer the creative approach argue. A straightforward. One of my clients tested two letters offering a financial book aimed at engineers. He will respond to creativity and cleverness just like everyone else.as long as they respond to our ads and buy our products. benefit-oriented letter clearly out pulled a "bells-and-whistles" creative package.and of people whose job it is to create advertising. low-key." The engineer will be quick to reject such material as "fluff. clever consumer-style ads or something in between. Engineers  have a low opinion of advertising . in some countries certain colours are associated with death."  Unfortunately.and that they make their decisions based on technical facts that are beyond a copywriter‘s understanding. Are the colours used on labels and packages offensive or attractive to the foreign buyer? For example. Engineers do not like a "consumer approach. Let them believe it ." Don‘t use slick graphics that immediately identify a brochure or spec sheet as "advertising. athlete may not be as attractive to overseas consumers as the picture of a local sports hero.

He already knows the benefits and is primarily concerned 9 . That is.  Example: An engineer buying semiconductors to use in a device he is building doesn‘t need to be sold on the benefits of semiconductors. VCR.  But with the engineering audience. systems integrators and others who purchase your product with an intention to incorporate it into their own product.  Copy aimed at engineers cannot be superficial. The engineer’s purchase decision is more logical than emotional. makes comparisons and buys based on what product best fulfills his requirement. an engineer buying a new piece of equipment will analyze the features and technical specifications in much greater depth than a consumer buying a stereo. Engineers want to know the features and specifications. Do not disguise the nature of what you are selling in an effort to "tease" the reader into your copy. CD player or other sophisticated electronic device. we are taught that benefits are everything. The buying decision is what we call a "considered purchase" rather than an impulse buys. power requirements and technical specifications . preference for one vendor over another is often based more on gut feeling that actual fact. and that features are unimportant. it is often the opposite. Most books and articles on advertising stress that successful copy appeal to emotions first. Clarity is essential. the buyer carefully weighs the facts. make it immediately clear what you are offering and how it meets the engineer‘s needs.  Certainly.in order to make an intelligent buying decision.performance characteristics. For instance. as you might do with a consumer mail order offer. there are emotional components to the engineer‘s buying decision. efficiency ratings. reason second.especially if not backed by facts. VARs (value-added resellers). Instead. Hard-sell frequently falls on deaf ears here . In consumer advertising classes. Engineers respond well to communications that address them as knowledgeable technical professionals in search of solutions to engineering problems. But engineers need to know the features of your product . not just the benefits.  Features should especially be emphasized when selling to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). But for the most part.

engineers are not unique in having their "secret language" for professional communication. computer specialists and other technical audiences. and mathematical symbols and equations.about whether your semiconductor can provide the necessary performance and reliability while meeting his specifications in terms of voltage. not promotional fluff. But jargon can actually enhance communication when appealing to engineers. Computer programmers feel comfortable looking at flow charts. "This is solid technical information. brochure or mailer. For instance. Electrical engineers like circuit diagrams. these visuals immediately say to the engineer. Systems analysts use structured diagrams.  Why is jargon effective? Because it shows the reader that you speak his language. don‘t you? And doesn‘t speaking his language accomplish that?  Actually. Consultants teaching business writing seminars tell us to avoid jargon because it interferes with clear communication. 10 . Learn the visual language of your target audience and have your artist use these symbols and artwork throughout your ad. current. except to make our work seem special and important? Engineers have their own visual language.in fact.for two reasons."  The best visuals are those specific to the engineer‘s specialty. tables. blueprints. who aside from direct marketers has any idea of what a "nixie" is? And why use that term.  This certainly is true when trying to communicate technical concepts to lay audiences such as the general public or top management. First. People in all fields publicly denounce jargon but privately love it. When you write direct response copy. they like it. engineers are comfortable with them and understand them. What are the visual devices through which engineers communicate? Charts. graphs.  You should use these visual devices when writing to engineers . Second. resistance and so forth. you want the reader to get the impression you‘re like him. Engineers are not turned off by jargon . engineering drawings. diagrams.

because freight charges are usually assessed by weight or volume (whichever provides the greater revenue for the carrier). 11 . the company should minimize their time in the field if possible. the company may wish to preassemble or pretest the product before shipping. To do so. Shipping unassembled goods also facilitates movement on narrow roads or through doorways and elevators. The company should be careful to provide all product information. As a side note. and parts lists . installation instructions. If technicians or engineers are needed overseas to assist in installation. Disassembling the product for shipment and reassembling abroad may be considered by the company.even relatively simple instructions.all in the local language . but it may add to delay in payment if the sale is contingent on an assembled product. This method can save the firm shipping costs. such as training manuals. a company should give some consideration to shipping an item unassembled to reduce delivery costs.Installation Another element of product preparation that a company should consider is the ease of installing that product overseas.

If the product could reasonably be dangerous when used correctly. the packaging must tell you so. 2.Engineers Responsibilities 2) When The Flaw Becomes Apparent What count as the defective products? Any product with a flaw of some kind can be considered defective. 3. 12 . But the law recognizes three ways in which you may claim A product is defective: 1. The design may be safe and free of flaws. Manufacturing defects are introduced during the making of the product. they included some flaw that they should have known would lead to injuries. the manufacturer has a responsibility to tell you about that danger. but sometime in the process of manufacturing or producing the product. A product is defective by design if. If it does not. the manufacturer is legally liable for any injuries that result. Design defects are problems included in the plan for making the product. Failure to warn is a defect in the way manufacturers instructs you to use the product. if an over-the-counter cold medicine could make you too sleepy to drive safely. when the designers or engineers made the original plan for the product. the product picked up a new problem. For example.

Engineers employed in industry often are required to balance a variety of considerations in order to accomplish their goals and objectives. As an engineer for the product company. So they should be able to find out what are the causes of the problem. and other factors. Next. This group of team will plays an important role on their product liability development. Each team member will be assign with task and make the jobs much more organised. they should be able to repair the product or make an exchange one on one to a new unit. Lastly.Engineer’s responsibility Engineers play a critical role in connection with the quality of products and materials within their responsibility and control. budgets. they have the right to claim for the warranty. 13 . After that the engineers should make an action on the product manufacturing. Try to design a new suitable way on manufacturing the product. When consumer can detect some defect on the products after the bought it. engineers should be responsible for the defect that happened on their product. Engineers of the company should try to avoid lawsuit case with consumer. Among these considerations are time schedules. workforce issues. They should meet the consumer them self and try to settle it and get win-win situation. they should have a defect team to solve this problem . quality control/quality assurance procedures. The only group that knows about the product better are the product's engineers. Development engineer responsible for fixing defect actions and also delegates the responsibility of fixing defect action. Customer support engineer should handles incoming issues and interfaces with customers. This is because wanted to prevent for this case or problem will be bring on the court.

Engineers shall be objective and truthful in professional reports. and usefulness of the profession. statements. responsibly. or testimony. Engineers shall act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees. reputation. ethically. which should bear the date indicating when it was current. and lawfully so as to enhance the honour. or testimony. Engineers shall approve only those engineering documents that are in conformity with applicable standards. They shall include all relevant and pertinent information in such reports. in the fulfillment of their professional duties.Engineers ethical obligations based on NSPE Code of ethics:  Engineers.    14 . statements. shall conduct themselves honourably.

This includes manufacturers. When a defective product is part of a larger item. they could potentially file a claim against the automaker and the battery manufacturer. and even someone in charge of assembling or installing the product. The following outlines the parties involved in the chain of distribution that may be liable for a defective or faulty product. When identifying a defendant in a product liability case. The manufacturer of a faulty product may range from a large.. multinational corporation to a person working out of a garage. the injured consumer may have a claim against both the manufacturer of the faulty part and the maker of the product itself. In some cases. manufacturing or marketing of a product who 15 . there may be more than one potential defendant in each category. retail outlets. the exchange of a product must occur somewhere in the professional supply chain. Anyone linked to the distribution of a product can be perceived as the responsible party. Defendants in Product Liability Cases Generally. wholesalers.g. For strict liability to apply. it's important to include additional parties involved in the design. someone who sells a product on the secondary market (e. For instance.Engineers Responsibilities 3) Product After Being Sold Parties Responsible for a Defective Product after being sold. garage sale) cannot be held accountable for product liability. the claimant in a product liability case should identify all parties in the product's chain of distribution that may have caused their injuries. a) Manufacturer (engineer) Manufacturing takes place at the beginning of a product's chain of distribution. For example. if a consumer was injured in a motor vehicle containing an exploding battery.

injuries of any kind that are due to the fault of defected products from a company can lead to million dollar law suits. if an individual became ill after taking improperly manufactured aspirin supplied by a friend or co-worker. distributors and suppliers are the "middlemen" in between the manufacturer and the retailer. These parties are part of a product's chain of distribution and therefore may be found legally liable in a defective product lawsuit. Injured consumers should remember that when bringing a product liability claim against a retailer. Similarly. Product liability claims involving a failure to warn may name technical experts who wrote instructions or warning labels for the product. Dealing with defect product after it being sold As history has repeated itself over and over again. In product liability lawsuits. a lawsuit may name a design consultant as the defendant if a faulty product resulted from a design defect. b) Retailer Although retailers are typically not involved in the manufacturing of products. Likewise. they do not have to be the buyer of the product. . decline in customer satisfaction and ultimately putting the company out of 16 business. the injured party does not have to be the user of the defective product and may be able to recover compensation for used products depending on the nature of the defect. the injured consumer is not required to pick one defendant over another. an effect on a business reputation.may be associated with the defect. they are not prevented from filing a product liability claim against the retailer simply because they did not personally purchase the item. they may still be held accountable for selling a faulty item. product liability claims stemming from a manufacturing defect may cite quality control engineers as a liable party. product type and applicable state product liability laws. c) Wholesaler or Distributor Wholesalers. For instance. Any part in the product's chain of distribution can be named as the defendant in a defective product lawsuit. For instance.

are willing to accept what is deemed as ethically and socially correct for the business unit. With defected products.Presenting the issue at hand of defective products being sold must come from a place of a person‘s own ethical values and beliefs. We believe that as a company. Online search engines also will provide any news in regards to the defected product and any better business bureau reports. we have a responsibility for the wellbeing of our consumers and ensuring that 100% satisfaction will be given. it‘s important that consumers are notified of the potential defect issues right away. it‘s our duty to provide correspondence in the form of local and international news feeds and if available. Finally. As an engineer. As a company we must take a stand to let the public know that we are aware of the issue. as a company. Informing the consumer lets them know that the company has morals and follows ethical standard. internally we must make sure that everyone that‘s apart. As a company and individually. is unethical. 17 . Selling defected products to which are bad. we have morals and standards that we must follow internally. the opposite of what‘s good. Today. and send letters directly to the consumers addresses. Alerting the employees of the possible defect issues what precautions we are making and the necessary changes going forward would show the employees and the public that the company has an implementation plan. people are more prone to hold the company accountable for what products they sell which are defected. Social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook can allow citizens to freely post surveys and polls in regards to the company and its product based on the information that‘s being released in the media. with many media outlets and information being readily available for the general public. state an apology and what steps will be made to correct that defect issues.

What are the ethical actions that need to be carried out by a company that faces with this dilemma? _6_ REVEAL _15 REPLACE _19 APOLOGIZE _0_ DO NOTHING 5. Have you ever found a defective product throughout your life? _17 YES _3_ NO 2. Should they stop producing the product? _13 YES _7_ NO Comments: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ 18 Thank you for your time! . Have you ever complain about this defective product? _7_ YES _13 NO 3. The company should be responsible for the defects of their product before or after their product is launched? _18 BEFORE _2_ AFTER 6. If YES does the company reply your complaint? _5_ YES _15 NO 4.Surveys Please tick the answer for every each and every question: Age Gender Occupation : _1_ Below 18_10 Between 18 to 25_7_ Between 26 to 40 _2_ Above 40 : _14 Male _6_ Female : _11 Student _9_ Worker 1.

Graph 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Graph of the survey Graph of the questioner 19 .

FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 20 .

The ethical actions that need to be carried out by a company that face this dilemma includes revealing the defects of their products made. Only 6 surveyors responded that the company should reveal their mistake. it is better to just stop producing defected products or at least improve in the skills and ability of good quality product-making.Analysis A survey was done. apologize or do nothing at all. 13 surveyors do not agree for the irresponsible companies to continue producing the defected products. This is because. and the statement above was discussed and analysed. And the rest thinks that the product should continue to produce. Based on a few of the comments given by most of the consumers that did not complaint. replace the defected product with a new one (provided that it‘s still under warranty) . based on the comments written. it was clearly written that they did not complaint because they knew that the company will not take action to any of their complaints. it is proven that majority of the consumers have experienced buying or owning a defective product. the consumers obviously prefer that the defected product should be replaced and the company should apologize to the consumer. As stated in the survey received. From the opinions that were given by the consumers. only 5 people were satisfied that their complaint was replied by responsible companies and the rest did not get any reply. Therefore. With the ratio of 17:3 consumers that agree that many of the products bought are mostly defective. As analyzed. 21 . continuous defected products should stop producing because it will cause loss to the company as well as the consumers who got ‗tricked‘ my the irresponsible companies. only 3 complained to the company and the rest did nothing. Based on the survey that has been done between the age of below 18 and above 40 in a total of 20 consumers regarding defective products.

Case Studies Case study 1: Toyota Products Failure Toyota has long been recognized as an industry leader in manufacturing and production. Toyota's management philosophy has evolved from the company's origins and has been reflected in the terms "Lean Manufacturing" and Just in Time Production. and . In 2010. the overlying mission of The Toyota Motor Corporation has been to "develop and provide innovative. the Toyota Motor Corporation ranked first by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers OICA with 8. The three main corporate goals are the following: a. To steadily increase corporate value as a top management priority. safe and outstanding high quality products and services that meet a wide variety of customers' demands to enrich the lives of people around the world‖ In order to uphold the TMC mission. which was instrumental in developing Toyota's managerial values and business methods collectively known as the Toyota Way.6 million units produced globally. specific goals and objectives have been identified as the aim of the company in keeping with its beliefs and building on its prior sales and financial success. Continue to introduce and produce products that fully cater to customer needs. FIGURE 3 GOOGLE IMAGE 22 b. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH: Over the past few decades.

on November 2. A separate recall for hybrid anti-lock brake Improper installation of a sensor to measure fuel pressure may cause the sensor to loosen as a result of engine vibration over time.S. The 3 major recalls:    Floor mat and accelerator pedal recalls. Toyota initiated the recalls. the first two with the assistance of the U. 23 . referred to as Sticking Accelerator Pedal by Toyota. and Pontiac Vibe etc. The second recall. The company confronted a major setback when three separate but related recalls of automobiles by Toyota Motor Corporation occurred at the end of 2009 and start of 2010. was to correct a possible incursion of an incorrect or outof-place front driver's side floor mat into the foot pedal well.c. Toyota Matrix. maintaining superior quality. including the Toyota Corolla. on January 21. and possibly cause fuel leakage RESEARCH BACKGROUND: The first recall. after reports that several vehicles experienced unintended acceleration. 2010. 2009. This latter defect was identified as a possible mechanical sticking of the accelerator pedal causing unintended acceleration. To become an even more competitive global company. a FIGURE 4 GOOGLE IMAGE similar issue faced in 2006 by The 2004 Ford Mustang Cobra. Several vehicles were recalled in the 2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls. these intentions translate into increasing sales and profit. which was recalled by Ford for accelerator pedals that failed to return to idle after being fully pressed. which can cause pedal entrapment. Toyota Avalon. Toyota Tacoma pickups. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). began after some crashes were shown not to have been caused by floor mat incursion. and continuing expansion. Toyota Camry. Overall. which resulted in suspension of production and sales of many of Toyota's most popular models.

The lawsuit claims that Toyota ignored the unintended acceleration problems over the past decade and did not install an override system which could have prevented accidents until the company had no choice but to confront the issue after a wave of reports of unintended acceleration crashes and deaths. which were heavily covered by U. Some US owners that had their recalled vehicles repaired still reported accelerator pedal issues. but following the January 28 recall. Various parties attributed sudden unintended acceleration reports to mechanical. and an additional 2. 21 deaths were alleged due the pedal problem since 2000. the worldwide total number of cars recalled by Toyota stood at 9 million. according to the Japanese transport ministry. The next day.S. additional NHTSA complaints brought the alleged total to 37. As of January 2010.8 million vehicles in Europe and 75.000 in China. also by Toyota. 2010. Toyota widened the recall to include 1. when nearly 1. electric.2 million vehicles for the pedal entrapment/floor mat problem. with the vehicles awaiting replacement parts. 24 . The number of alleged victims and reported problems sharply increased following the recall announcements. The recalls further led to additional NHTSA and Toyota investigations. Drivers have reported vehicle surges and unintended acceleration under the following conditions:       The vehicle was at idle The vehicle was in reverse at low speed The operator‘s foot was on the brake The vehicle was travelling at a constant highway speed The vehicle contained no all-weather accessory floor mats The accelerator pedal was not ―sticking‖.3 million Corolla cars were recalled for a faulty headlight switch and a host of other problems. and driver error causes. media. leading to investigations and the finding of improper repairs. along with multiple lawsuits. The biggest recall in 2005 was in Japan.Toyota had announced recalls of approximately 5.3 million vehicles for the accelerator pedal problem on January 28. Sales of multiple recalled models were suspended for several weeks as a result of the accelerator pedal recall.

market. since then has been struggling to regain its once solid reputation among buyers for producing reliable vehicles. where its response was seen as dallying. The ballooning number of quality problems that add another dent to its tarnished reputation especially in the crucial U. along with the other markets in which the company operates globally.S.S. 25 . The biggest damage to Toyota‘s image has been in the U.FIGURE 5 GOOGLE Toyota.

Case study 2: The Space shuttle Challenger Accident The explosion of the space shuttle Challenger is perhaps the most widely-written about case in engineering ethics because of the extensive media coverage at the time of the accident and also because of the many available government reports and transcripts of congressional hearings regarding the explosion. The case illustrates many important ethical issues that engineers face: What is the proper role of the engineer when safety issues are a concern? Who should have the ultimate decision-making authority to order a launch? Should the ordering of a launch be engineering or a managerial decision? This case has already been presented briefly. and we will now take a more in-depth look. FIGURE 6 GOOGLE IMAGE 26 .

The accident on 28. but have the disadvantage that once the fuel is lit. fastened with 177 clevis pins.2. and are recovered from the ocean. The liquid-propellant booster is used to finish lifting the shuttle into orbit. all of the boosters are ignited and lift the orbiter out of the earth‘s atmosphere. In 1974. In contrast. at which point the booster is jettisoned and burns up during re-entry. The cylinders were then shipped to the Kennedy Space Center in florida for assembly into a completed booster. illustrated schematically in Figure 2. Solid rocket boosters have the advantage that they deliver far more thrust per pound of fuel than do their liquid-fuelled counterparts. the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded the contract to design and build the solid rocket boosters for the shuttle to Morton Thiokol. The O-rings 27 FIGURE 7 GOOGLE IMAGE . A key aspect of the booster design is the joints where the individual cylinders come together. a primary and a secondary. The assembly of the propellant-filled cylinders was performed at Thiokol‘s plant in Utah. and a single liquid-propellant booster.RESEARCH BACKGROUND: The space shuttle was designed to be a reusable launch vehicle. These are tang and clevis joints. At takeoff. two solid-propellant boosters. The joints are sealed by two O-rings. known as the field joints. which had been used successfully for many years to launch satellites. parachute back to earth. After completion of the mission. The liquid booster is the only part of the shuttle vehicle that is not reusable. which looks much like a medium-sized airliner (minus the engines!). a liquid-fuel rocket can be controlled by throttling the supply of fuel to the combustion chamber or can be shut off by topping the flow of fuel entirely. there is no way to turn the booster off or even to control the amount of thrust produced. 1986 was blamed on a failure of one of the solid rocket boosters. The design that was submitted by Thiokol was a scaled-up version of the Titan missile. This design was accepted by NASA in 1976. They are subsequently repacked with fuel and are reused. The solid rocket consists of several cylindrical pieces that are filled with solid propellant and stacked one on top of the other to form the completed booster. The vehicle consists of an orbiter. the orbiter uses its limited thrust capabilities to re-enter the atmosphere and glides to a landing. The solid rocket boosters are only used early in the flight and are jettisoned soon after takeoff.

the internal pressure causes the booster wall to expand outward. To prevent the hot gases from damaging the O-rings. Although there was no failure of the joint. helping to seal it. Further testing revealed problems with the secondary seal. The Titan booster had only one O-ring in the field joint. Since the solid rocket boosters are only used for the first few minutes of the flight. this design should be fine. However. This pressure causes the joint to open slightly. and O-ring erosion was one of the problems that the Thiokol engineers were addressing. this booster would be used for a manned space craft. Of course. to try to control this problem. including an increase in the thickness of the O-ring. Despite these efforts. it might be perfectly acceptable to design a joint in which O-rings erode in a controlled manner. a process called ―joint rotation. displacing the primary O-ring into this gap.are designed to prevent hot gases from the combustion of the solid propellant from escaping. approximately half of the shuttle flights before the Challenger accident had experienced some degree of O-ring erosion. The Orings are made from a type of synthetic rubber and so are not particularly heat resistant. and modifications to the original design are often required. 28 . Design changes were made. putting pressure on the field joint. It should be pointed out that erosion of the O-rings is not necessarily a bad thing. after the second shuttle flight. When the rocket is ignited. Thiokol became aware that this joint-rotation problem was more severe than on the Titan and discussed it with NASA.‖ illustrated in Figure 2. The second O-ring was added to the booster for the shuttle to provide an extra margin of safety since. During testing of the boosters in 1977. this type of testing and redesign is not unusual in engineering. this was not the way the space shuttle was designed. and Thiokol looked into the use of different types of putty and alternative methods for applying it to solve the problem. there was some concern about this situation. As long as the O-rings don‘t completely burn through before the solid boosters run out of fuel and are jettisoned. In November of 1981. a heat-resistant putty is placed in the joint. Seldom do things work correctly the first time. a post launch examination of the booster field joints indicated that the O-rings were being eroded by hot gases during the launch. and more changes were initiated to correct that problem. unlike the Titan.3. Early Problems with the Solid Rocket Boosters Problems with the field-joint design had been recognized long before the launch of the Challenger. The joint was designed so that the internal pressure pushes on the putty.

The post flight examination of the boosters revealed black soot and grease on the outside of the booster. Since 29 . which formed a glassy oxide on the joint. The oxides that were temporarily sealing the field joint were shattered by the stresses caused by the wind shear. This oxide formation might have averted the disaster had it not been for a very strong wind shear that the shuttle encountered almost one minute into the flight. the O-ring didn‘t seat properly. the overnight temperature was 8°F. NASA routinely documents as many aspects of launches as possible. Thiokol engineers redesigned the field joints without O-rings. which should have been better able to withstand the hot gases. Instead. looking at the right booster. recorded puffs of smoke coming from the aft field joint immediately after the boosters were ignited. In July of 1985. which occurred during very cold weather. The joint was now opened again. One of these cameras. The heat-resistant putty was also so cold that it didn‘t protect the O-rings. Very quickly. the field joint was sealed again by products of the solid rocket-propellant combustion. due to the extremely cold temperature. [Elliot. This smoke is thought to have been caused by the steel cylinder of this segment of the booster expanding outward and causing the field joint to rotate. they used steel billets. In fact. Unfortunately. Thiokol performed tests of the ability of the O-rings to compress to fill the joints and found that they were inadequate. and hot gases burned past both O-rings. But. 1991] The Launch Contrary to the weather predictions. It has been estimated that the aft FIGURE 8 GOOGLE IMAGE field joint of the right-hand booster was at 28°F. colder than the shuttle had ever experienced before. It was later determined that this blow-by occurred over 70° of arc around the O-rings. the new design was not ready in time for the Challenger flight in early 1986.The first documented joint failure came after the launch on January 24. 1985. One part of this monitoring is the extensive use of cameras focused on critical areas of the launch vehicle. there was a significant accumulation of ice on the launch pad from safety showers and fire hoses that had been left on to prevent the pipes from freezing. which indicated that hot gases from the booster had blown by the O-ring seals. and hot gases escaped from the solid booster. This observation gave rise to concern about the resiliency of the O-ring materials at reduced temperatures.

One of the commission members was Richard Feynman. known as the Rogers commission. The flexibility of the material at room temperature was evident. 30 . The Aftermath As a result of the explosion. 1991. In a demonstration that was repeatedly shown on national news programs. he demonstrated the problem with the O-rings by taking a sample of the Oring material and bending it. Boisjoly handed over to the commission copies of internal Thiokol memos and reports detailing the design process and the problems that had already been encountered. President Reagan appointed a "blue-ribbon" commission. and the shuttle has since flown numerous successful missions. and Boisjoly‘s actions hurt this effort. the shuttle program was grounded as a thorough review of shuttle safety was conducted. As part of the governmental investigation. the flames from the solid fuel booster blow-by quickly burned through the external tank. Thiokol formed a failure-investigation team on January 31. Boisjoly and other Thiokol engineers were asked to testify. both by the contractors involved (including Thiokol) and by various government bodies. and Mellicam. Curtis. and Boisjoly. The commission consisted of distinguished scientists and engineers who were asked to look into the cause of the accident and to recommend changes in the shuttle program. The liquid propellant was ignited and the shuttle exploded. According to Boisjoly. When Feynman again bent the O-ring.the booster was attached to the large liquid-fuel booster. However. after its chair. the ambitious launch schedule originally intended by NASA has never been met. it was very clear that the resiliency of the material was severely reduced. Naturally. Eventually. He then immersed it in ice water. The joint was redesigned. 1989]. As part of the commission hearings. and he took extended sick leave from his position at Thiokol. after this action he was isolated within the company. Thiokol was trying to put the best possible spin on the situation. 1986 which included Roger Boisjoly. who ably demonstrated to the country what had gone wrong. his responsibilities for the redesign of the joint was taken away. the atmosphere became intolerable for Boisjoly. a very clear demonstration of what happened to the O-rings on the cold launch date in Florida. There were also many investigations into the cause of the accident. and he was subtly harassed by Thiokol management [Boisjoly. a Nobel Prize winner in physics.

and his stool collapsed. something as seemingly innocuous as a bar stool can turn from a comfortable perch to a source of pain and suffering. Eventually. he was sitting at his newly installed home bar. sofas and coffee tables in our homes. The impact of the fall left the 66-year-old former surveyor with a fractured coccyx and severe bruising.Case study 3: Common Incident: Furniture Furniture is everywhere. when the question of compensation arose. however. in July 2005. as well as desks. It is amazing how. for which he needed chiropractic treatment. the reality of just how damaging such a defect can be hit home when. for one 66-year-old man from Barnet. support us. with only slightest manufacturing fault. Although the manufacturer at first expressed grudging sympathy for the man's injury. enjoying a pint of homebrew. 31 . FIGURE 9 GOOGLE IMAGE RESEARCH BACKGROUND: Unfortunately. and never imagined that it would cause him personal injury and give him grounds to make a product liability claim. office chairs and coat stands in our workplaces. the stool was not in mass production but instead was only a limited edition design made by a small but prosperous designer. He'd only had the stool for a few weeks. chairs. for the safety of the public at large. nine months later. had paid more than £200 for its trademark design. Without realizing it we rely on furniture to. We have tables. the retiree decided to contact the manufacturer of the stool to let them know of both the defect and his injury. sometimes literally. we may be entitled to make product liability claims. they became defensive and suggested the man's weight was to blame for the stool. Fortunately. When it doesn't and we suffer personal injury as a result. Three days after the accident. was not enough to cure the lasting pain and discomfort of his injury. This treatment. Greater London. a leading acupuncturist helped him fully recover from the injury.

pieces of broken teeth and stone were revealed. the manufacturer's insurers decided against enduring lengthy and costly litigation.With the assistance of an independent design expert he discovered that the limited edition stool had an inherent flaw which made it unable to safely support more than 15 stone in weight." In short.200 in personal injury FIGURE 10 GOOGLE IMAGE compensation. so admitted liability for the product liability claim and paid the former surveyor the sum of £5. After inserting a finger into his mouth to feel the area where the pain was coming from he felt that some teeth were jagged and broken. the manufacturer was found to have breached obligations owed to all consumers as outlined in the Consumer Protection Act of 1987. in the home this stool is just an accident waiting to happen. explained to his FIGURE 11 GOOGLE IMAGE 32 . In the face of overwhelming evidence. He felt a sharp pain and shuddered all over. by which time some of the shock had diminished and he was in even more pain. When he spat the contents of his mouth into his hand. In the words of the independent expert. The twenty-two-year-old was on his way to the cinema to meet his girlfriend when he stopped at his local newsagents for a packet of cashew nuts for them to share while watching the film. He walked a little further to the cinema. "The manufacturer of this stool had sacrificed practical and safety aspects of design in the name of aesthetics. Case study 4: Common Incident: Food Products In January 2004 a young man wanted to make a product liability claim after he gained two broken teeth from a contaminated packet of nuts. While it might look great in a showroom. He opened the packet as he was feeling puckish and had a nasty surprise when he bit into something particularly hard.

temporarily fixed the broken teeth and instructed the young man to make an emergency appointment to see his own dentist for further work to be carried out.800 in compensation from the snack manufacturer to cover pain and suffering. He also explained that the pain that he was experiencing was emanating from damage to his gum at the back of his mouth and an exposed nerve that needed immediate dental care. The dentist cleaned up the mouth. Within a few months he received a satisfactory offer of $3. lost earnings and the dental work that he had undergone. After seeing his own dentist and receiving the hefty bill for the dental work he decided that he wanted to make a product liability claim. treated the injuries as best he could.girlfriend what had happened and asked her to take him to the dental department. He was not charged a single penny for any costs or fees that accumulated from his case and he got to keep 100% of compensation that he was awarded. A dentist examined him and told him that as a result of biting into the stone which was in his packet of nuts he had two broken molars. FIGURE 13 GOOGLE IMAGE FIGURE 12 GOOGLE IMAGE 33 . one at the top and one at the bottom.

responsibly. Besides that. There is sometimes when consumers or buyers just lack of knowledge to identify the defective products or rather they simply bought things as their pleased. there will be less chances of product defects in market.Conclusion As conclusion. Thus as focusing on an engineer. health and welfare of the public. ―preventing is better than cure‖. We can also relate this project report as the saying said that. If they would encourage everyone to do the report if any. they have to perform services only in areas of their competence and issue a public statement only in an objective and truthful manner. The first duty is to hold paramount safety. Thus. it is better to just stop producing defected products or at least improve in the skills and ability of good quality product-making. The most important is they have to avoid deceptive acts and conduct themselves honorably. engineers should be responsible for the defect that happened on their product to ensure the safety of all consumers and buyers around the world. We just cannot simply blame the engineer or anyone involve 100%. we were facing many problems due to human error. ethically and lawfully to enhance the honour reputation and usefulness of the profession. And major problem came in as our statistics shows that almost 75% of people do not report about the defects. 34 . in everyday life. there are several duties that shall be fulfilled. Therefore.

edu/Publications/Bridge/EngineeringEthics7377.org/Ethics/CodeofEthics/index.springer. we have done some research from the internet.org/1996/April/101.soe.References While conducting this portfolio.nspe..org.pdf http://www.va.uk/userfiles/op_trustcasestudies.pdf http://www.edu/.html http://www..rcs.com/parties-responsible-for-a-defective-product--1-1588.k12.ucsc. www.nae.html http://www.ibe.com/social+sciences/applied+ethics/journal/11948 www.los-angeles-injury-lawyer-blog.com/2009/09/ classes.aspx 35 .us/engineer/Unittwo. Here are the lists of websites that we have surfed to gain the information: http://www./Engineering jee.forthepeople.

Appendix 36 .