Recall issues plaguing General Motors, Honda

The automotive sector has been a major beneficiary of rapidly improving technology. Some of the features that are common in today’s vehicles may not have even been imaginable a decade ago, and automakers are always doing whatever they can to remain on the cutting edge of the industry’s advancements. 

Unfortunately, despite the great strides that have been made in automotive technology in the past few years, product failure and recalls still remain a major concern for auto manufacturers. With as little as three years to conceptualize, design and produce vehicles in the current market, car makers are constantly battling tight deadlines as they try to test their vehicles as much – and as efficiently – as possible. 

Two major automakers have been in the news recently due to issues having to do with brakes and brake lights. According to CNN, Japanese automaker Honda announced this week that it is recalling more than 180,000 vehicles in the U.S. and nearly 250,000 around the world due to a defect that could potentially cause cars to brake even when the driver is not pressing the brake pedal. 

The issue, according to the news source, involves the electronic stability control system in the cars, which include 2005 Honda Odyssey minivans, Pilot SUVs, Acura RL sedans, and 2006 Acura MDX SUVs. The root of the problem is reportedly an electrical capacitor that had been damaged during the manufacturing process, CNN reported. 

General Motors’ brake light problem
For General Motors, the issue isn’t with the brakes themselves, but rather the brake lights. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether or not the automaker needs to add another million mid-size vehicles to its 2009 recall due to faulty brake lights that may not illuminate when the brake pedal is pressed. 

The initial 2009 recall reportedly involved 8,000 2005 model-year Pontiac G6 mid-size cars, but the NHTSA is looking into similar complaints from 2004 to 2011 model year Chevrolet Malibus and 2007 to 2009 model year Saturn Auras, the news source said. Fortunately, there have been no reports of accidents or injuries resulting from the flaw, GM said. 

The flaws in the General Motors and Honda vehicles are only the latest examples of product failures stemming from the manufacturing process. Using smarter, more efficient testing can help companies such as automakers extend product life and maximize profits in the long run.