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Why Automotive Defect Numbers Are Soaring

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bobjengr
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Platinum
AUTOMOTIVE DEFECTS
bobjengr   6/18/2014 7:52:17 PM
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One issue we are having in Chattanooga, Tennessee is qualified maintenance professionals if and when a defect is found. Recalls, I suppose, come with instructions and necessary training but down here we have the "I can fix any car-just let me at it" mentality.  Some of these old boys have been shade-tree mechanics since they were in middle school, if they went to school at all.     The complexities of proper repair sometimes escape them.  I know that's really harsh but there are issues.   I agree that ADs ( aircraft directives ) seem to notify dealers and maintenance shops much quicker than auto industry processes.  This is truly sad and changes need to be made.  Hiding the facts, as GM has done, creates nothing but heartache.  Automobiles will increase in complexity and a good system is absolutely needed.  Excellent post Charles. 

 

far911
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Silver
Re: Multitude of Variants of Software.
far911   5/29/2014 7:54:38 AM
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I guess u r right as majority of the business are run on the same norms.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Blogger
Re: Multitude of Variants of Software.
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   5/28/2014 6:27:19 PM
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I see a lot of blending between the two industries. Only a decade ago, Bluetooth, LCD screens and tiny cameras were items found in Telecom. Today, each of those technologies (and many more) are offered on almost every vehicle.

Amclaussen
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Platinum
They simply don't like to KNOW there is a problem...
Amclaussen   5/28/2014 6:06:52 PM
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I can tell you I found a defect in a suspension part on one of my cars (a stabilizer bar link made from nylon-fiberglass composite that developed hairline cracks). I found that the local central offices here at my country (Mexico), were not very much interested in the problem I was reporting to them. But also found that by describing the potential catastrophic failure in thah car fans forum (supposedly not related to the car manufacturer) provoked an instantaneous response (next day, no more!), when a rep from the offices called me to offer to change the defective part for free.

Two days later, I met with the replacement parts manager at one of their main dealers to receive only one link, which now came made totally from metal.  Curiously, they made me sign a letter where I declined to reveal the defect to anybody, but refused to supply me with the second part needed to replace the other side link end, leaving me with the expense of having to buy the second part from them, which I declined as I had found the common variety part in the aftermarket at a small fraction of their price.  That gentleman had observed EXACTLY the same failure process at the stabilizer bar links in his own vehicle, a very different Chevrolet Corvette, where he had replaced the failure prone nylon links at the 4 corners with much more heavier built and stroger aftermarket parts, made with high strenght aluminum, so he was familiar with the propensity of reinforced nylon links to develop cracks.  There was not the slightest mention of a recall, and no TSB issued at this potentially dangerous situation (did a link suddenly decide to fail under tension and released the ball from the socket during a hard turn, the vehicle would certainly cause a very sudden change in its dynamics, probably causing a serious accident.  Maybe not so. Please continue reading as I latter found that the stabilizer bar was not as rigid as I believed at that time and didn't really contribute that much to the vehicle ultimate stability... but not every driver subjects his vehicle to the same loads and there is still a possibility of an accident anyway.

The lesson here was that they only cared to stop any bad news as hard and soon as possible, but were not that cooperative with a client that was concerned not only with his own vehicle, but others too. The culture of secrecy and PR damage control was the dominating factor, way above any safety concerns, and I'm sure that culture has been even more pronounced in the recent GM case with their instructions to their employees about not even mentioning that there was a problem! Denial at its highest expression.

After keeping the same vehicle for several more years and tired of replacing the easily worn and noisy spherical links to find them develop play all too soon, I decided to redesign the links and draw upon a suspension shop that was aware of the noises created by the defective or unsatisfactory original design, and they made a pair of links that replaced the original link that comprised two spherical ball joint in each link end with a much simpler and older design using hard rubber donnuts, like in the old days.  They also found a much beefier stabilizer bar from a 1995 model that probably had a heavier V6 engine in it, that replaced the puny (for a sports version sedan) original bar of 26 mm diameter with the tougher 31 mm bar, doubling the effective torsional stiffness and leaving my car with a much better handling in the process! End of story.  Amclaussen.

far911
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Silver
Re: Multitude of Variants of Software.
far911   5/28/2014 2:51:42 PM
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I doubt it that few will prevail. And comparing telecom with vehicle industry ?

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
Re: Six Sigma , and databus problems
AnandY   5/28/2014 12:21:29 PM
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@Dave Palmer-I strongly agree with you that there are a number of factors that contribute to all these automotive problems.  The fact that the public finds it hard to accept the defect is very true. There are many people who encounter numerous defects on a daily basis but never take them seriously. The number of engineers dealing with the data bus problems has also reduced drastically, such that one has to go to great depths to find the right person who can solve such problems. I think that solving these factors will reduce the number of automotive defects.

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: Six Sigma , and databus problems
far911   5/28/2014 12:31:56 AM
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Yes it sounds viable but the problem is that the consultant s will be suggesting all the companies resulting in leakage of secrecy.

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: Six Sigma , and databus problems
far911   5/28/2014 12:05:22 AM
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Yes it sounds viable but the problem is that the consultant s will be suggesting all the companies resulting in leakage of secrecy.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Blogger
Re: Multitude of Variants of Software.
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   5/27/2014 11:55:24 PM
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Referencing a similar trend a few years ago during the Telecom boom, the 2 big standards winners emerged as AppleOS and Android. But there were many before these two ruled;  (WinCE, Palm, BlackberryOS, Linux, etc). Every OEM used a different coding language.

Likewise, one or two best adapting language systems will likely prevail in automotive.  There are just too many to tell right now:  which one(s) will ultimately prevail and rule.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Six Sigma , and databus problems
Dave Palmer   5/26/2014 10:13:59 PM
I think there are a number of factors at play here.  First, the public's acceptance of defects is constantly decreasing.  I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, and, yes, I noticed that the torque required to turn the key backwards in the ignition switch was pretty low; I never considered it a defect, just something to be careful of. (Of course, now that my kids drive that car, I see it differently).  Second, the cohort of engineers that was trained in the post-Sputnik era is retiring.  This knowledge and experience is difficult to replace, especially now that working in the automotive industry does not have the cultural cachet it once did.  Third, supply chains are more complex.  In the "old days," many more parts were made in-house.  This meant that the OEMs had greater control over them, and that OEM engineers were more intimately familiar with component manufacturing processes. Finally, I think management practices play a big role. (It may be that each generation of engineers thinks that its managers are the most short-sighted, bureaucratic, and inept, but it sure seems to be true).

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