This Year’s Recall ‘Pileup’ is a Supply-Chain Nightmare for Automakers

Automotive product recalls are spiking. Roughly 13 million car and associated parts were recalled in just the first quarter of this year. Robert Bowman writes for Forbes about all the grim numbers and their implications.

Recalls Up, Profits Down

Only a little over a quarter of recalls in the past four years have been from the top ten assemblers, even though General Motors alone has found that its faulty ignition switches are responsible for at least 13 deaths and 54 accidents. It is actually the smaller companies that are the source of much of the chaos, and one big reason for why recalls are increasing is because so much more technology goes into making a car now. Glitches abound in new software and systems, and they can be volatile in unique ways.

Recalls are so regular now that car owners are ignoring nearly a third of them. If the industry is such a mess that consumers have come to expect failure, things need to change. Manufacturers need to expand their visibility as far as possible, understanding exactly where their various parts come from. According to Bowman, it is a cross-functional task, requiring sourcing, legal, finance, quality control, and marketing to come together. For more, you can read his full article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbowman/2014/06/10/this-years-recall-pileup-is-a-supply-chain-nightmare-for-automakers/

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