Tire Failures, SUV Rollovers Put Quality on Trial

Abstract:Business leaders and the general public are wondering about the value of quality management systems in the face of the Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford tire and SUV product failures. Photographs from the plant where the offending tires were made showed the tires as being QS-9000 and ISO 9001 Certified. The issues raised by the product failures are of great importance to quality professionals, and the situation offers an opportunity for the quality community to participate in a serious dialogue. Dennis Arter, ASQ Fellow and deputy chair for standards on the ASQ General Technical Council, doubts that any quality audit program could have prevented the recall of tires by Bridgestone/Firestone, since auditors do not look for field failures. He also notes the sensitivity of the data and the legal problems associated with admitting even a small degree of fault in today's litigious society. Hans Bajaria, president of Multiface Inc., suggests a deeper examination of the understanding of quality …

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