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?
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virtually impossible to test for every possible scenario and at the same time place the product on the market before it is obsolete and within a reasonable price bracket.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%
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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