Engineer's 'switch from hell' began GM recall woes

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  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 7, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    A company has to have values. They have to have some principle where they will do something inconvenient and costly because of a bigger value.

    One example was Tylenol. In the early 1980's someone spiked Tylenol with cyanide and returned the bottles to store shelves. People taking Tylenol died. The Tylenol management had a value of customer safety. So without meetings, memos, stalling, etc, they knew what they needed to do. They sprung into action. They took all the Tylenol bottles off the shelf as fast as they could.

    Then they redesigned the bottles so if they were tampered that it would be apparent. The next year they were back in business (or should we say, 'still in business') in business and they've been going strong since.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    June 7, 2014 6:27 a.m.

    There is a bit of misinformation from GM on these switches and having been automotive technician I replaced many of these switches for mysterious shut downs and no start conditions. The switches are usually regarded by automotive technicians the least likely reason for power loss because these switches are built like a tank and well designed.

    Not only is steering lost and difficult in FWD cars, they have no engine, transmission, no anti lock brakes, no airbags, no lights, no control at all. Switch failure is not related to driver habits or jiggling of keys.

    The problems may not be design specifications, I'd put more blame on production and manufactured by unqualified off shore manufacturing by cheap labor (M.I.C. or M.I.M.) who don't care about what they make. American business have no control of foreign production and its proving to be a deadly compromise to increase profits. Safety and quality and risk made by cheap labor and manufactures who alter and change specification.

    Food, car seats, furniture, electronics, appliances, tires, and everything imported has been plagued by low quality modified without consent and US company's do nothing to check their products.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    June 6, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    Two giant failures:

    1-- Failure to ask "What else could happen, and what else is affected?"

    2-- Failure to notice that small cheap cars are often driven by women, who have less upper body strength and are shorter, thus less able to wrestle the wheel when power steering goes out. (also less likely to have been told there is still steering when power goes out)

    Thick heads caused lack of good thinking.