Will IATF 16949:2016 Bring The Automotive Sector Out Of The Dark?

Richard Wilson May 16, 2018

The automotive sector has gone through significant turbulence in the past few years with a number of high profile brands being accused of picking profits over ethics and safety. This has resulted in numerous product recalls, falling of share prices and unfortunately, fatalities along the way. However, IATF 16949 is set to unscramble the chaos and put the automotive industry back in top gear.

On 1st October 2016, the new standard was published that replaces ISO/TS 16949:2009. No longer will ISO regulate the quality management standard for the automotive industry. The new Quality Management System (QMS) standard, IATF 16949:2016 is aligned with and refers to the most recent version of ISO’s Quality Management Systems standard, ISO 9001:2015.  A lack of trust is currently shrouding the automotive sector. Supply chain confidence is at an all time low and consumers are suffering as shareholder pressures lead to unforgiving cost-cutting strategies by manufacturers.

In September 2015, General Motors (GM) agreed to pay the US Federal Government $900m in criminal damages after recalling 2,600,000 cars and causing 124 deaths due to a potentially faulty ignition switch. As part of the settlement, GM also admitted to having defrauded customers by marketing its vehicles as safe during that period. Separately, GM also extended the settlement offer to up to 1,385 additional victims of the defect. That means the defect has now cost GM more than $2 billion in fines and settlements – a figure that does not include the cost of fixing 2.6 million recalled vehicles.

Takata’s faulty airbags lead to 46.2 million vehicles being recalled in the U.S. alone. Takata and its US subsidiaries had to file for bankruptcy protection last June (2017). Its airbag inflators, which have a tendency to explode in humid conditions, have been linked to more than 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries. With estimated liabilities totaling over $10bn, Takata’s downfall was the largest corporate bankruptcy of a Japanese manufacturer.

IATF 16949:2016 is an international standard, bringing together standards from the U.S. and across Europe, to detail everything you need to know about achieving best practice for designing, developing, manufacturing, installing, and servicing automotive products.

The standard can be used by any size of organization within any industry. It recognized as the basis for any company to create a system to ensure customer satisfaction and improvement, leading to many companies demand this as the minimum requirement for an organization to be a supplier. It is because of this, that IATF 16949 has become a necessity for many companies to compete in the market.

The aim of this new standard is to help boost consumer confidence, building back up a reputation and bringing a strong focus back on supplier quality. The next necessary stage for IATF16949:2016, is to commence your upgrade from ISO/TS 16949:2009 certification. Time is short – this transition needs to happen by 14th of September 2018.

AuditComply is the proven quality, compliance safety and operational risk management software solution for hundreds of users and organizations across the world. By working closely with one of the world’s largest automotive safety suppliers, we are able to provide bespoke functionality for supply chain management within the automotive sector.

The automotive industry is completely reliant on the quality of its supply chain being of the highest of standards.  AuditComply can help your organization deliver consistently to that standard with IATF 16946:2016.

Contact AuditComply to discuss how our software solutions can support you in gaining IATF 16949:2016 certification or help you maintain a high quality, strong and robust supply chain.

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