RECALLS – ANNOYING BUT NOT SCARY
Recalls has no direct relationship to the quality of the product you have purchased. Do you agree with that? Most won’t. That sounds like a counter-intuitive statement.
The argument goes if a product was super well built, it wouldn’t need a recall. The manufacturer set aside quality control for profit. And now the product is defective and requires repair.
I dare you to pick any brand in the world, known for its quality, and I guarantee you there’s been a recall or an equivalent situation of product failure somewhere in their lineup of goods.
Apple. Remember bend-gate on the iPhone? Or the current MacBook Pro with the butterfly keyboard that is failing? I remember my previous Macbook had a white plastic shell, and where you rested the palms of your hands at the base of the unit while you typed, eventually cracked and split open.
Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, BMW? They all have recalls long enough to fill a sheet of paper.
How about Nike? Did anyone witness when phenom Zion Williamson’s shoe literally blew apart on court this past season in the NCAA, injuring him?
Do a Google search using the term: current product recalls. You’re going to get lists covering things from food, to clothing, car seats, appliances, electronics, and yes, vehicles. It’s the reality of our manufacturing and design processes today.
Vehicles are arguably one of the more complex items you’ll ever purchase. I read somewhere that the average car, if you count absolutely everything, has approximately 30,000 parts. And many of those parts are not manufactured by your manufacturer.
Some estimates I have seen put the total automotive manufacturing industry supplier count well over 250,000. So, it becomes a real difficult task from the manufacturer standpoint, to ensure maximum quality control over so many, ahem, moving parts!
Takata airbags anyone….
And the complexity on new vehicles is increasing, quickly. The more complex technology you have, the more likely you’re going to run into issues. And yes, vehicles are tested. The new Silverado has had 11.2 million kilometers of testing by General Motors before launching for sale.
As much as that is, it gets swallowed up quickly once they start selling those in tens and hundreds of thousands of increments. Suddenly the consumer mileage vastly exceeds the tested mileage. And the longer and more often something is driven, over a whole host of different terrain, the greater the chance of any flaw in the design making itself know.
We have to accept recalls as a fact of life. Especially as all companies tend to work between a line of keeping things economical, but still functional. The frustrating component of the recall cycle really is once it is announced.
See, the manufacturers, in Canada, are beholden to Transport Canada’s rules. And as soon as a manufacturer identifies that something qualifies for a recall, they must announce it.
Do they have a fix identified? No.
Do they have parts available? No.
Do they have a time-line available? Usually no.
Are they immediately putting a mailer out to customers, scaring them into thinking their car is unsafe? Yes.
Do they want to do this? No. Are they legally obligated to? Yes.
We share your frustration. We field your calls. And we genuinely wish we could have an answer for you on what the repair is, when it will be available, and how long you’ll have to wait. But we don’t. We get announcements just shortly before you as the customer do, with not much more information.
Once the issue is identified, now the engineering teams get to work figuring out a solution. If it involves a part purchased from a supplier, they have to work in tandem to find a fix. That takes time.
Once the fix is in place, now production needs to be altered, and then ramped up, on the new part. If the supplier is small, or if the retooling to fix the issue is complex, it can take quite some time for the new parts to be available.
Routinely once the fix is announced, we are limited on how many of the new parts we can order. In many cases we are unable to do so unless the vehicle has an open repair order in our shop already. And sometimes even then we won’t get enough parts on the first production run to fulfill our requirements.
There’s nothing we can do about this. We’re sorry. We wish we could speed it up. But we can’t.
Eventually over time the situation normalizes, and the parts are available. In certain circumstances we are forced to ground units we have for sale until the fix is available. That’s incredibly frustrating for us because now we have inventory we can’t retail to customers who want it.
A recall is unfortunate, but not uncommon. All product categories have recalls. We shouldn’t be concerned if our vehicle has one. The system exists to keep you safe and to correct issues that were not foreseen.
We do apologize for your inconvenience. We know how trying it is not knowing. Our goal is always to get your vehicle fixed as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience!