Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood
Sorry, but that reasoning doesn't make sense when you include "a massive loss in reputation" in the equation. In fact, the effect on reputation and the decreased sales that results from it keeps them in check more than any regulations. As for the regulations, they don't appear to have worked, since Toyota has this massive problem.
They didn't expect to get caught; therefore, in their arrogance, they didn't expect a "massive loss in reputation" and therefore the 100,000,000 in extra profit vs fixing the problem was deemed to be a risk worth taking. However, they did get caught and the 100,000,000 they should have spent fixing the problem in the first place isn't looking like such a good deal, considering what it is costing them in reputation, financially through the recall, and the soon-to-arrive financial hit they are going to take when the lawsuits from affected families and individuals start arriving on their doorstep.
If the regulatory structure failed to prevent the problem then all it means is that the regulatory structure needs to be tightened more. If companies like Toyota are unable to act in an ethical manner under the present structure then it means the structure has to be made even more strict. Frankly, the auto industry has had too much say in how they are regulated. The legacy of egregious and criminal actions by auto industry executives tells me that action beyond dictating the safety requirements of cars is required. Every one of the people involved in the decision to allow potentially deadly out-of-control cars to roam North American highways should be charged with pre-meditated murder and go to jail if convicted, instead of home to their comfortable mansions. They should also be left open to be personally sued into bankruptcy by the victims of their crimes. Maybe that would finally send the message that consciously allowing lethally defective cars to roll around on the highways and byways, killing people, is ethically no different than if they had picked up a gun and just shot the people that their rolling car bombs have maimed and killed.
Would I be able to go on my merry way if it was proven that I knew a car I had sold to someone had a defect that made it a lethal weapon, and the person who bought it was killed or maimed? Not bloody likely. So what makes the suits in these companies immune to being charged for deliberately allowing deadly weapons, in the form of their cars, to roll around killing people?