Car parts suppliers are stepping up quality control efforts and the traceability of their components in the wake of an unprecedented wave of auto safety recalls and huge fines against manufacturers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Many suppliers seem to be investing in new and improved equipment to better automate defect detection and are assigning more employees to do part checks. For example, Daicel Corporation, which manufactures airbag inflators, has invested millions of dollars to enhance its system for tracking inflators shipped to customers.
The Move to Improve Quality
The airbag inflators are the explosive devices that pump up the airbag in the event of a crash. Daicel has apparently acquired the capability of carving letters data onto tiny metal parts such as when and where the parts were made. Daicel used to attach bar codes to many parts, but some pieces were too small to do so. Company officials say their priority is to be able to immediately identify the range of potentially problematic products, should a safety issue arise.
Aisin Seiki Company, the world’s fifth largest automotive supplier, is also spending tens of millions of dollars to boost quality. It traditionally relied on experienced employees to detect and fix issues, but now the company has purchased new devices to catch that problem and cut the defect rate by two-thirds. These moves were largely prompted by the Takata airbag recall that led to the recall of millions of vehicles manufactured by various automakers. The explosive airbags were linked to several deaths and scores of injuries.
Auto Product Liability Issues
It is about time that these parts suppliers put these measures in place to ensure consumer safety. The reality of the auto industry is that safety devices such as airbags, seatbelts and other vehicle components are made by these global suppliers. That’s why traceability of the components is an important issue.
If you have been injured as the result of a defective auto part, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the auto part maker as well as the car manufacturer. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages. Families of deceased victims can also seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In such cases, it is particularly critical that victims and families contact an auto defect law firm that has the resources to thoroughly and independently investigate vehicle defects and hold negligent automakers accountable.