In this eBook we’ll look at seven statements that can arise around product recalls and see how you can prevent them from every being uttered, or at least enable you to defend yourself against them if they are.

Rising Complexity 

In this age of mass customization, the number of variables at play on the production line has increased significantly. Every variation of every vehicle build must be accounted for. 

The continent-hopping supply chains that almost every automotive manufacturer must rely on also come with their own risks of differing terminology and design standards as well as cultural differences in manufacturing approach.  

So far, automotive manufacturers haven’t kept up with the increasing complexity of their own products and the number of vehicle recalls and the number of vehicles affected per recall have been growing year-on-year for a long time.  

Expecting the Unexpected

That said, automotive manufacturers are expending extremely large amounts of capital to ensure that the vehicles they produce will function exactly as intended. 

However, no product is perfect and things will always wear out or stop working as intended in the end. 

Where issues arise is when part of a vehicle wears out faster than expected or where a component malfunctions.  

On a single vehicle it may not be significant but if a pattern emerges, such as with Toyota in 2009 and 2010 due to floor mat and sudden acceleration problems, then a product recall may need to be ordered. 

Product recalls may originate from several sources, but most can be tracked back to two key root causes – manufacturing defects and design flaws (Hora et al. 2011). In this eBook we’ll focus on mitigating the risks of product recalls originating from manufacturing defects.  

Bearing the Costs

The nightmare of product recalls is that they initiate reverse logistics where recalled products, information, and cash flow have to travel in the opposite direction of the normal supply chain.  

These kinds of events can never entirely be planned for meaning the final costs can never be easily estimated. The financial costs, in materials, man hours and litigation, as well as the hit to the brand, can be catastrophic with the entire supply chain bearing the burden. 

A Focus on Prevention

However, with some optimization you can be preventing issues rather than firefighting external failures. This will reduce both the risk of product recalls as well as the Total Cost of Quality. Research by McKinsey shows how increasing the cost of prevention can greatly reduce the costs due to both internal and external failures.

7 Steps to Avoid Product Recalls

In this eBook we’ll look at seven statements that can arise around product recalls and see how you can prevent them from every being uttered, or at least enable you to defend yourself against them if they are. 

More information

ATS Inspect is a software solution for product inspections that was first developed in the automotive industry over 30 years ago. From the very beginning it has helped manufacturers to raise the quality of their products while lowering the Total Cost of Quality. That’s why six of the 10 largest automotive manufacturers in the world trust ATS Inspect to reduce the risk of product recalls on a daily basis.

To find out more about ATS Inspect visit