Will IATF 16949:2016 help the automotive industry to reach the top gear in quality leadership?

20 June 2017

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Will IATF 16949:2016 help the automotive industry to reach the top gear in quality leadership?

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It is safe to say that the reputation of global automotive industry has taken a bit of a kicking in recent years, with a number of high-profile flaws in quality and many household brands being accused of putting profits before safety. 

The forthcoming development of one of the most established International Standards for quality management, ISO/TS 16949, is set to evolve with the publication of a new global industry standard by the International Automotive Task Force - in IATF 16949:2016. This has been seen as a positive move and allows organisations to be better aligned to and supportive of ISO 9001:2015. 

The monumental impact when things go wrong has been evident recently - hitting share prices, reputations and presenting huge question marks around supply chain confidence. The infamous ongoing case of Takata’s faulty airbags has effected a monstrous 46.2 million vehicles in the US alone – culminating in Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, and BMW agreeing to pay $553 million to compensate owners for these losses whilst getting their vehicles repaired. Payments are expected to total up to $500 for every single consumer impacted. 

The deal, which must still be approved by a federal judge, will cost Toyota $278.5 million, BMW $131 million, Mazda $75.8 million and Subaru $68.3 million. Faulty Takata airbags have also been linked to 16 fatalities (10 of which occurred in the U.S.) and 180 injuries worldwide. 

Takata themselves agreed to pay more than $1 billion in fines – an initial $25 million fine, $125 million in a victim compensation fund, including for future incidents, $850 million to compensate automakers for massive recall costs and being forced to make significant reforms in the next three years. The combined liabilities here have lead to the expected bankruptcy of Takata.

Whilst the “dieselgate” emissions scandal at Volkswagen hit market confidence, with suppliers such as Bosch being drawn into the scandal and putting honesty and company ethics above the costs of losing such a lucrative contact as they held with VW. Around 600,000 diesel vehicles used software to suppress, and falsely report on, emissions of nitrogen oxide during tests. The total cost of the scandal has been estimated at about $21bn (£16.5bn), which includes a commitment to repair or buy back vehicles.  

Regardless of the sector, the majority of multinational companies claim to be obsessed with quality, efficiency and innovation. Established business practices such as PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) and APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning) also set out to strengthen reliability in the automotive arena.

There is a great deal of innovative work done by a number of leading players in automotive to make driving experiences automated, more data-driven, better for the environment and an altogether safer experience for road users, which is being embraced as a positive for the market. 

There is no doubt that this progression in standards can help to boost client confidence, protect reputation and focus on supplier quality, which helps to win repeat business in such a lucrative market. 

The automotive industry is in a position whereby it is wholly reliant on the quality of its supply chain being gold-standard, regardless of where the vehicle fits in terms of price and quality (90% of Takata recall cases were high-end brands).


Ideagen offers a suite of market-leading quality, risk and safety management software solutions, alongside Q-Pulse FAIR (FAI, PPAP, APQP). 


Learn More about Ideagen PPAP 


Alternatively, you can request a demonstration of Q-Pulse (Quality Management Software).

Written by

Alexander Pavlović

Alex produces targeted content to help Ideagen’s readers and customers navigate the complex world of quality, governance, risk and compliance.

Alex has worked with brands such as BT, Sodexo and Unilever and is passionate about helping businesses build a cohesive, collaborative culture of quality.

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