Toyota got into a situation wherein disclosure could be damaging to both the company and to its customers. An ethical problem existed wherein a decision has to be made between what is bad and what is good. Toyota is also faced with a decision to act based on legality or efficiency of actions.
The first steps in analyzing ethical issues are getting the facts to guide decisions and next are the appeal to values because the facts does not tell us what to do, but values directs us to moral issues of decisions.
Documents showed that the Toyota knew of the problem with the sticky pedals in late September but did not issue a recall until late January. Why did they hide it from the public? Was it their intention to continue selling damaged vehicles and let buyers beware and face accidents?
There is very little information on the internal events about the damage, who discovered it and other related details. What has been established is that Toyota knew of the damage as early as September of 2009 but made announcements only in late January in 2010. In five months time, there could have been accidents due to faulty breaks that could have been avoided.
Individual groups who have important stake in the issue are customers of Toyota; the management and stockholders and the government. Some concerns that got Toyota into a mess, I believe, is the fear for outcome of decisions that would adversely affect Toyota’s operation.
Those who will be affected by the first action are the Toyota customers who are facing dangers of accident due to faulty break system. Report said that there are about 2.3 million Toyota vehicles affected by the damage.
In the second action, when Toyota announced to public the damage and recall of the cars, those affected are the stockholders and management. Confidence of customers on Toyota is threatened thereby there is a risk of decline of sales. Investors will also lose