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"Sorry to dampen the corporate bashing, but we all benefit by the constant pressure OEM's and suppliers put on themselves and each other to continually improve features and performance while simultaneously lowering costs. Look at the features in a 2017 Mustang compared to a 1967 Mustang. In 50 years the advancements have been incredible, and this doesn't come without a lot of pressure and pushing from many sides."

The only reason that car companies put most safety devices in their products is because some government agency made them do it. Not because of their concern for the motoring public.

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Originally Posted by gostang9 View Post
I work in the industry and the OEM's have strict specifications that must be met along with the quoted price for all products. If a supplier (Takata in this case) gives the OEM test data supporting that their product meets all the specs at the quoted price, how is the OEM responsible? If the OEM's test specifications are too weak, then I would agree. It has been reported that in this case that the supplier lied about the performance of their products and this is why some executives have been charged.



Sorry to dampen the corporate bashing, but we all benefit by the constant pressure OEM's and suppliers put on themselves and each other to continually improve features and performance while simultaneously lowering costs. Look at the features in a 2017 Mustang compared to a 1967 Mustang. In 50 years the advancements have been incredible, and this doesn't come without a lot of pressure and pushing from many sides.


The airbags themselves are not the problem, it's the inflators. The supply of replacement inflators is coming from Takata and other suppliers.

I have worked in the industry as well, for nearly 3 decades.

No, I am not sure what test data was given initially, but from what I understand they carefully omitted certain results giving a better appearance. My problem lies in that all the other companies that bid told the manufactures it was a physical impossibility to produce at that cost. All but one, so they just jumped on board,

I have read transcripts that are very clear that true false info only flowed from Takata once the deaths started coming. I personally feel the manufactures had all they needed, but chose to look away.

No, I do not agree we always benefit by bean counters cheapening everything. I don't feel that had a thing to do with Ford building the performance car we have today. If anything it would have been better. Performance, and better fuel economy drove the Coyote, not the cheapest of the cheap vendors. Yes competition, better products, low cost is crucial, but always taking the cheap way (which is what it was, especially in a pure safety component) is not the best course of action, nor what really drives innovation as you paint it.

Actually the problem lies with the chemicals they decided to use for the inflators. In high heat and humidity they explode with a lot more force. Strikingly just as every other manufacturer of airbags told Ford, and the other car builders said they would at that cost. Well all but one company, Takata.

A good read https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.42c8c6ecde2e

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rather than picking out 1 or 2 posts just consider this a like for all the above posts.....I will blame consumer more than mfr but note the use of "more" as there is enough guilt to go around.

back to conversation.....more of my thoughts (feelings NOT facts) is the Takata air bags have saved more lives in accidents than they have killed by the shrapnel. I also am a believer in we need to change design parameters on airbags to have them be made to work with a belted in person. As of now they must protect an un-belted person which requires them to deploy violently. If you are not willing to take basic precautions I don't feel the need to protect you from yourself. As part of this I propose that we re-write the laws where you are not necessarily required to wear seat belts but, if you don't wear them your insurance rates are a good bit higher and there are limits on the amount you can collect in a law suit.

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Fair enough, if it could be made so airtight that no lawsuit end runs around it were possible.


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The only reason that car companies put most safety devices in their products is because some government agency made them do it. Not because of their concern for the motoring public.
Government regulations are definitely a big reason behind OEM's putting basic safety devices in the cars they sell. However, the regulations don't mandate the exact products or methods used to achieve a required level of safety. The regulations have nothing to say about what cost/price level the safety offerings should be at.


The OEM's take general safety requirements, then develop their own detailed specifications, and finally work with suppliers to come up with solutions that meet their specs and provide the level of 'safety' they want to sell to the consumers.


I see a very big difference between the types of products and performance various OEM's look for in the products they purchase from us. Some look for very low price products and solutions that meet the basic governtment requirements, while others opt for high cost options that offer much more. When you consider the many body types and infinite combination of crashes and resulting injuries or fatalities that can occur, no safety system in the world can protect against all of them. So OEM's with suppliers have to come up with the level of performance they decide they want. If you were to tear down the airbag systems from 3 different vehicles from each of 10 different OEM's, you would see huge differences. Some of these differences would be attributed to the type of vehicle, but many more would be attributed to choices each OEM and supplier made while devoloping the safety system (all under same government regulations).


OEM's also choose to offer safety features above and beyond what is mandated by government regulations. Some basic examples as follows:
- Ford offers inflatable rear seatbelts in some vehicles, these are not mandatory and very few OEM's have gone this route so far
- Ford offered inflatable curtain airbags in some vehicles a decade ago before head protection was mandated
- Ford offers back-up cameras in many vehicles even though these are not mandated


Often, new safety features are made 'available' in cars as an option, I don't have data but have some experience with a past product that would suggest very often consumers are not will to pay for these features. Therefore, if Ford put $2000 of additional safety features standard in every vehicle above what government regulations mandate, their competitors very likely would not and this would require them to charge $2000 extra for every car. We all realize OEM's have to be competitive and so government regulations provide some leveling of the playing field.
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OEM's also choose to offer safety features above and beyond what is mandated by government regulations. Some basic examples as follows:
- Ford offers inflatable rear seatbelts in some vehicles, these are not mandatory and very few OEM's have gone this route so far
- Ford offered inflatable curtain airbags in some vehicles a decade ago before head protection was mandated
- Ford offers back-up cameras in many vehicles even though these are not mandated

Ford (and other mfgs) are not fools. They can see what is going to become mandatory & act accordingly. They are just trying to stay ahead of the game. I would bet that none of the above would have been available if Ford knew that these things would eventually not become mandated.

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Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
I have worked in the industry as well, for nearly 3 decades.
Cool, you have about a decade up on me then.


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No, I am not sure what test data was given initially, but from what I understand they carefully omitted certain results giving a better appearance. My problem lies in that all the other companies that bid told the manufactures it was a physical impossibility to produce at that cost.
That executives have been charged tells me a lot about how serious the transgressions and how obvious some of the evidence must be. I don't think our competitors are always aware or agree with our products or selected technology offerings. I hope the OEM's wouldn't reject options purely because the competitors disagree with it. Our company has had many innovative solutions in the past that our competitors did not or could not offer. The onus was on us to test, validate and prove with data to the OEM's that our solutions were robust. I'm fortunate to work at a company where we often test our products well beyond what OEM's specify and I've always seen our top executives show a very high level of integrity.


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...I personally feel the manufactures had all they needed, but chose to look away.
I chose to believe that Ford (and any other OEM) would not have wilfully signed up had the known the high rate of failure and the true severity of the defect.
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No, I do not agree we always benefit by bean counters cheapening everything.
As you've descrived it, I guess I would agree. Luckily in our company, Engineers and Operations Management have a lot more say than accountants. Everyone knows that we have to keep innovating, improving quality and driving to lower costs, but none of these are in isolation of the other.
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Actually the problem lies with the chemicals they decided to use for the inflators. In high heat and humidity they explode with a lot more force.
This is a concise and accurate description of the problem as I understand it. I hope the lessons learned from this recall will drive better decision making for a long time. Certainly any gains from the choices made by executives almost 2 decades ago have quickly been evaporated by the cost of the recall and the pending bankruptcy. I can only hope the individuals responsible pay the price more than the thousands of workers who had nothing to do with it.
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Ford (and other mfgs) are not fools. They can see what is going to become mandatory & act accordingly. They are just trying to stay ahead of the game. I would bet that none of the above would have been available if Ford knew that these things would eventually not become mandated.
We all have a right to our opinions and yours is perfectly valid.


I cannot discuss all of the innovative products we work on with OEM's, but in my experience there is often a level of risk taking (as far as 'early adoption' of technology) from some OEM's and in many cases it may not end up being regulated in the future.
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rather than picking out 1 or 2 posts just consider this a like for all the above posts.....
I haven't been on this forum long, so as a 'noob' I appreciate the openess with which discussions take place here and without it denegrating into personal attacks. Kudos to the mods!

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I also am a believer in we need to change design parameters on airbags to have them be made to work with a belted in person. As of now they must protect an un-belted person which requires them to deploy violently. If you are not willing to take basic precautions I don't feel the need to protect you from yourself.
I think a lot of people are unaware of the range of scenarios that can happen in crashes and the difficulty in designing a cost-effective product that meets many of them.
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I haven't read the whole thread but I think I get the gist . . . and I have run a small manufacturing company so I have some perspective.

Remember, companies are run by people; and most people are generally concerned about the well being of their fellow man, as well as their own wealth. I don't know anyone who would not feel awful if someone was killed or hurt as a result of a shortcoming in a product that they designed or built. Yes there is some rationalization on the basis of cost and profitability. As companies get bigger and bigger, and more removed from their customers, the people do tend to get disconnected and care less about the people that they impact. But generally they do still care.

Take it overseas to China, and I think it changes a lot -- people over there care a lot less about the downstream impact of their actions, especially when it is all the way on the other side of the ocean; they are more concerned with putting food on their tables; almost anything goes in business over there as I understand it.

So anyway, I very much doubt that anyone in Ford knew or expected this to happen; but would not be surprised if the folks at Takata did it on purpose.

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FWIW, Takata is a Japanese company and the inflators were manufactured in North America (Mexico).


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[QUOTE=gostang9;8892577]I haven't been on this forum long, so as a 'noob' I appreciate the openess with which discussions take place here and without it denegrating into personal attacks. Kudos to the mods!
/QUOTE]


That is why we're here. Different forums have different attitudes and I prefer ones that don't allow insults but still allow debates.

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FWIW, Takata is a Japanese company and the inflators were manufactured in North America (Mexico).
But manufactured in accordance with whose specs?


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But manufactured in accordance with whose specs?
First, overall automotive safety is covered under NHTSA requirements. https://www.nhtsa.gov/laws-regulations
--> From this the automakers develop more detailed testing they expect supplier products to pass.
--> Suppliers develop processes and products and create their own internal specs governing performance to meet OEM specs.


So the inflators would have been covered under internal Takata specs (I don't know where these are written or controlled, whether in each Division where they're produced or back at corportate), then Takata would have shown test results to Ford proving they met the Ford test requirements and product specs. Finally, Ford would have tested to ensure the system met overall vehicle performance requirements.


As someone in this thread pointed out, there are many Takata inflators that function(ed) and some number that failed. (Takata reportedly tested >30,000 tests on recalled inflators and 265 ruptured - meaning that 29,735 did not rupture) Therefore, an argument could be made that statistically Takata inflators may have passed all testing successfully in the beginning. However, the product / process were not reliable and robust enough and ultimately too many of them allowed moisture penetration into the ammonium nitrate-based propellant housing leading to increased pressure over the design limits and causing ~0.8% of the inflators to burst.


A lot of information is summarized here... Takata Airbag Recall - Everything You Need to Know
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gostang9 View Post
FWIW, Takata is a Japanese company and the inflators were manufactured in North America (Mexico).


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thanks for the correction, I made an ass-u-me ption :-)


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