A year that was supposed to signal a positive new start for General Motors is turning into a headache as the company continues to struggle with a massive recall, according to AutoNews. The recall is now impacting up to 7 million automobiles globally, the total of the past four years combined. There has even been talk among government agencies of a criminal cover-up. The recall stems from a faulty ignition switch, which The Wall Street Journal reported is likely only a 30- to 45-minute repair.
While a seemingly easy fix, the issue has had deadly consequences and could be responsible for up to 13 fatalities. Some of the faulty switches are on cars that are nearly a decade old, and the slow pace of the recall has made the company look irresponsible in the eyes of oversight agencies and the public.
However, aside from the probing of government agencies and the risk of lawsuits, GM's biggest battle may be in the court of public opinion. No only does the recall potentially call the quality of the cars into question, but it also creates an inconvenience for customers who must schedule the repair. According to The WSJ article, the speed at which the automaker can complete the recall and the repairs will weigh heavily on the company's future.
Brand Reputation Suffers Greatly From Botched Recall
While GM has its hands full with government agencies concerning many aspects of the recall, the largest concern among consumers will be their own personal time lost. Timelines for recall completions differ depending on the the type of product, its distribution and the level of danger posed. However, to insure that a recall is completed as quickly as possible requires the use of automated data collection solutions that can help supply chain managers track and trace merchandise.
With the ability to see where each order is in real time, organizations can begin recalling merchandise almost immediately. When using paper-based systems, locating the data, analyzing and determining how accurate it is will greatly delay the process. Because timeliness is so important when a product must be recalled, no company should rely on data collection methods that are prone to errors and unable to keep pace with the demands of consumers and government agencies
There is much that other organizations can learn from the GM ignition switch recall, and the importance of speed in such a situation is one of the most obvious.