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Questions about:

Automobile Design Defect

Sat, 26 Sep 1998

Answer from Takenori

From: "Rosalba Torres" To: "Takenori Iwasaki"

Hello Nori, How is your weekend? I hope you are having fun with your family. As you see I am doing the homework, so is not so funny!
Well, first I am going to talk about my case at the Ethic Center in the Newseum which is "Automobile Design Defect' and then I will tell you my own opinion about it. I will appreciate if you can answer this letter and tell me your point of view.
The case is: a teenager died in a car crash and the experts said the cause was a defect in his pickup truck. You are a producer of a network news magazine. If the truck had a problem, you can save lives with your story. Your options are:
A) Repeat attempts of the crash until the truck explode again.
B) Rig the pickup -the video is crucial for this option.
C) Rig the explosion in the video but admit that is a simulation.
In November 17, 1992, Dateline NBCNews said that the model of General Motors pickup trucks can explode on side impacts. NBC reported that GM knew the defect in the model and they did not fix the car.
General Motors sued NBC. NBC admitted they had faked the explosion and GM dropped the lawsuit after NBC agreed to give $ 2, 000, 000. 00 to GM and on air apology for the faked video.
In 1996 GM agreed to settle dozens of class-action by giving to every owner of the estimated 5 millions of pickups still on the road a $ 1, 000. 00 certificate toward purchase of a new GM vehicle.
In my opinion the producer had to wait until the results were clear and not faked the video because it is a serious and delicate issue in which many lives were involved. The lives of those who had that model of truck. You cannot play God in order to have a "good" story for the news. First, you have to check the facts and the truly causes of the crash and then, you have a story to tell.
20 If the trucks were flawed would that justify the use of the faked video?
Do you think it is better to prove the truth even if you have to lie?
What will you do if you were the producer?
Thank you very much for your time, Sincerely, Rosalba Torres