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Electronics & Test

Slideshow: GM Announces Another Giant Recall

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Charles Murray
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More to come
Charles Murray   5/16/2014 7:10:49 PM
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On Monday or Tuesday, we'll have more to come about what this means -- particularly in the area of commonality of parts -- to design engineers.

bobjengr
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GM AND GIANT RECALL
bobjengr   5/17/2014 12:11:21 PM
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Charles, I writing this comment on Saturday morning after the "FED" announced GM will be penalized $35 million for delays in addressing the switch problem.  Automobiles are remarkably complicated systems now days but you have to wonder why the various subassemblies escaped repair when initially noticed.  The ignition switch problem, in my opinion, is criminal simply due to delays and the deaths involved. Thank you for keeping us posted and informed.

 

far911
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Re: GM AND GIANT RECALL
far911   5/18/2014 3:15:10 AM
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Although GM vehicles doesnt possess a vast market in our area. Still the problems identified are severe and are persisiting over a decade. Still such a big Brand didnt over come it or reduce it. It s surprising.

Mydesign
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Re: GM AND GIANT RECALL
Mydesign   5/19/2014 2:50:17 AM
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"Although GM vehicles doesnt possess a vast market in our area. Still the problems identified are severe and are persisiting over a decade. Still such a big Brand didnt over come it or reduce it. It s surprising."

Far911, such recalling can spoil the brand name too.

far911
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Re: GM AND GIANT RECALL
far911   5/19/2014 6:57:00 AM
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Mate it certainly does that s why it is surprising for me.coz once a name gone will take ages to regain.

ChasChas
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Re: GM AND GIANT RECALL
ChasChas   5/19/2014 8:58:05 AM
 

The Government should let dying companies die.

We can see here that GM was dying for many reasons.

Mydesign
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Re: GM AND GIANT RECALL
Mydesign   5/21/2014 1:12:00 AM
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"Mate it certainly does that s why it is surprising for me.coz once a name gone will take ages to regain."

Far911, you are right. Now a day's almost all automobile manufacturers are calling back a certain set of vehicles either for free repairing or parts replace. In both cases, it can lost the trust.

Mydesign
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Recall
Mydesign   5/19/2014 2:49:01 AM
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Charles, I think recalling the vehicle seems to be trend. Sometimes back Toyota, Ford, Honda etc recalled certain category vehicles for repair. Why they are not able to found such issues during the testing phases; I think such things are happening due to lack of intensive tastings under various situations/scenarios.

Battar
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Re: Recall
Battar   5/19/2014 9:45:52 AM
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Mydesign,

               It is virtually impossible to test for every possible scenario and at the same time place the product on the market before it is obsolete and within a reasonable price bracket. No matter how careful you are, some things will just slip through. At some point you have to freeze the design and release to production, but there will always remain that decimal point of uncertainty beyond the 99.99%

Mydesign
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Re: Recall
Mydesign   5/21/2014 1:09:34 AM
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"It is virtually impossible to test for every possible scenario and at the same time place the product on the market before it is obsolete and within a reasonable price bracket. No matter how careful you are, some things will just slip through. At some point you have to freeze the design and release to production, but there will always remain that decimal point of uncertainty beyond the 99.99%"

Batter, whatever may be the reason, recalling the vehicles from market can spoil the brand value and trust.

Charles Murray
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Re: Recall
Charles Murray   5/21/2014 6:39:48 PM
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Yes, Mydesign, these recalls do spoil brand value. Lately the reputations of GM's various divisions -- Chevy, Cadillac, Buick, GMC -- have been damaged by the news. The question is how well consumers will remember this fiasco in five years.

Mydesign
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Re: Recall
Mydesign   6/3/2014 7:53:32 AM
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"these recalls do spoil brand value. Lately the reputations of GM's various divisions -- Chevy, Cadillac, Buick, GMC -- have been damaged by the news. The question is how well consumers will remember this fiasco in five years.'

Charles, that's true. That's one of the best advantages of human brain, forgetting the past easily.

Al Klu
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Engineering Change Control
Al Klu   5/19/2014 9:33:17 AM
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I'm beginning to think that GM is auditing their Change Control process and finding that engineering change orders have not been properly assessed for seriousness of the change and the need for recall.

The switch problem was noted and corrected by engineering change many years ago.  However, the seriousness of the prior condition was never rated as a recall requirement until jsut recently.

The fact is that we are seeing many new and unrelated recalls (tie rod torque, wiring issues, etc).  If the recalls are not affecting parts on the dealer lot, or vehicles in process, then something already changed in production to correct the problem. 

GTOlover
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Re: Engineering Change Control
GTOlover   5/19/2014 9:49:59 AM
I can also tell you from past experience that the quality engineers at GM where always slow to accept a change, even one that has proven improvements to known field failures!

My example is the pull handle on the rear hatch of the GM version of the minivan. The handles are molded with a stiff core and overmolded with a soft PVC type material. The field failures were the core material would break when people went to pull the door shut. I suggested a superior grade and fiber reinforced material to solve the issue. The exterior of the part would look indentical to the previous part. Testing showed it had 3 times the strength. And the cost of the replacement material was offset by the reduction in cycle time. It still took almost a year to approve and implement the change for current production and service replacements. This change should of taken less than one month (maybe two) to implement for a simple pull handle.

One can only imagine how long it must of taken to implement a change in the ignition key defect?

Al Klu
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Gold
Re: Engineering Change Control
Al Klu   5/19/2014 12:38:42 PM
Very interesting.  In your case, the change would be invsible to the consumer. You state that there were instances of the handle breaking during use.  We believe you that your new design is superior to the old design.  As a consumer, I would be very upset to have the handle break during usage, and would have wanted the new handle aavailable as soon as possible.

In addition, also as a consumer, how many times have we been told that "this is the very first time that a handle has broken during use", or that this repair is no longer under warranty.

I think the missing step, and the most politically sensitive step, is the determination of when a recall is needed, or at least when the repair should have been covered.  The decisions to date have obviously only been to protect the corporation instead of the consumer. 

Hopefully, we are now at a place where the manufacturer will do the repair even if there is not a recall.

Charles Murray
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Re: Engineering Change Control
Charles Murray   5/20/2014 5:06:41 PM
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Unfortunately, GTOlover, I don't think GM could tell you how long it took to implement a change in the ignition switch fiasco. The story is so convoluted, defined by such a succession of errors, that it's almost impossible to describe. Somehow, GM managed to put an out-of-spec switch in the original product. Then, Delphi Mechatronics changed the design, and GM engineers somehow weren't aware of the change, for reasons having to do with part numbers.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Engineering Change Control
Cabe Atwell   5/20/2014 11:46:00 PM
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My question is, what happened to the billions of dollars that the government gave to bail out the auto industry? Obviously, it didn't go towards designing reliable vehicles. 

Mydesign
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Re: Engineering Change Control
Mydesign   5/21/2014 1:15:10 AM
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"My question is, what happened to the billions of dollars that the government gave to bail out the auto industry? Obviously, it didn't go towards designing reliable vehicles. "

Cabe, who knows how they are utilizing the grants? Is that grant is auditable by CAG (Controller and Auditor General)

Reliabilityguru
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Re: Engineering Change Control
Reliabilityguru   5/19/2014 10:27:29 AM
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I agree it seems they are doing an audit. The 477 tie rods not torqued to spec. If I were to guess, they had one days production where a torque wrench was out of calibration.

tekochip
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Re: Engineering Change Control
tekochip   5/19/2014 11:37:27 AM
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I don't think it's so much an audit as it is announcing now because they are free of liabilities because of their bailout.  Like most successful companies, they know how to make money and keep what they made.


Reliabilityguru
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Re: Engineering Change Control
Reliabilityguru   5/19/2014 2:33:06 PM
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I do not understand what are you talking about. Free of liabilities? Bailout?

They are taking a $200 million hit on 6 recalls. Their reputaion is on the line. They are fearful of additional bad press like they've been recieving over the faulty ignition issue.

far911
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Re: Engineering Change Control
far911   5/19/2014 2:45:10 PM
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$ 200 million is a big hit. And company is taking it to save it's reputation.

Reliabilityguru
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Re: Engineering Change Control
Reliabilityguru   5/19/2014 2:47:43 PM
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Is there an echo in here?

a.saji
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Silver
Re: Engineering Change Control
a.saji   5/20/2014 12:07:52 AM
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@far911: Yes it shows that the reputation of the company is much more valuable than that thumping amount. I think it's the correct move

far911
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Re: Engineering Change Control
far911   5/20/2014 12:16:47 AM
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Business ethic also narrates this which GM is following g. Besides. As a customer one must get the value for money.

tekochip
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Re: Engineering Change Control
tekochip   5/19/2014 4:57:49 PM
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GM lawyers are claiming that the bailout frees them from liabilities in the recalls.

 

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-18/gm-recall-does-the-government-bailout-protect-it-from-liability

 

 

Ralphy Boy
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Re: Engineering Change Control
Ralphy Boy   5/20/2014 12:27:22 PM
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GM lawyers are claiming that the bailout frees them from liabilities in the recalls.


http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-18/gm-recall-does-the-government-bailout-protect-it-from-liability

This was part of the tax payer rage during the bailout...

GM got 10s of BILLIONS... and 'a clean slate' from all past sins.

Heck of a way to encourage better business practices going forward.

From the linked article...

"If you are aware of potential exposure to litigation and you don't reveal it, that's fraud," he told Bloomberg News. "I'm going to go back to that bankruptcy judge and say, 'You have to undo this, the liability of the old GM, because it was the new GM's continued coverup after the bankruptcy that allowed people to be hurt or killed.' " Hilliard's small firm, Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales, is advertising online for more pre-2009 cases; so are larger plaintiffs' firms such as Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein in San Francisco.

I thought the government was supposed to protect people from big companies that pulled this stuff... Not aide and abet.

a.saji
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Re: Engineering Change Control
a.saji   5/20/2014 4:32:14 AM
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@tekochip: That is why they are very successful in their business. It's a risk but a worthy one for sure

armorris
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Coming clean
armorris   5/19/2014 11:33:55 AM
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I hope that this sudden bunch of recalls is a sign that GM is coming clean and at the very least, will be quick to issue a recall when a problem is discovered.

I do think that it is possible to do the job right the first time, in spite of the complexity of the product. I have owned two Hondas, and they have both been flawless, and I rarely hear of a Honda recall. While I know that it is impossible to mass-produce systems of such complexity without an occasional fault, I think Honda does a superior job of designing it right the first time and getting all the bugs out before going into production with a product.

Charles Murray
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More recalls today
Charles Murray   5/20/2014 4:55:04 PM
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Just saw a news story stating that GM announced 2.4 million more recalls today. GM is trying to get this out all at once, rather than letting it trickle out over time. To some degree, the timing is PR-related.

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