• Apr 28th 2006 at 12:17PM
  • 13

The importance of quality parts and strong supplier relations was laid bare for the Ford Motor Company Thursday, as it was forced to hit the red button on five assembly plants (and partially close a sixth) after it learned that of a defective clutch mechanism employed in certain 4-speed automatic transmissions. The costly shutdown idles plants producing F-Series pickups, E-Series vans, Expeditions, and the Lincoln Town Car. 15,000 workers are affected.

No word yet on how many units are affected, or how soon production will resume on these profit-rich vehicles, but an analyst has pegged the shutdown as costing some $34.4 million per day, before taxes.

[Source: Associate Press via Yahoo News; BBC News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Give them credit. They are actually doing the right thing for a change.

      As Steve noted, they used to just keep building and hope nobody would notice. Or just not care. However, I would hesitate to call that past a distant one.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is exactly why it doesn't pay to always go with the cheapest vendor's for parts. It'll eventually bite you in the ass.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Good for Ford. It is a good thing that they caught this before bigger problems start to happen. It's good to hear that they are finding problems and not just letting them go.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Ouch! Glad they caught it when they did.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You mean 15,000 workers are unaffected as they still get paid now they just get paid to sit around instead of stand around

      • 9 Years Ago
      Supposedly these are 4-speed boxes coming out of Livonia. None made their way into any trucks. By later today they should have the front-door shut.
      Sgt. Hulka
      • 9 Years Ago
      Ford is to be CONGRATULATED for nabbing these so quickly. With JIT and almost instant line feeding, the disruption meant almost instant assembly plant closures.

      Let's see how the business press treats this as compared to the benign treatment that Honda and Toyota's tranny troubles were reported. I'm betting that it won't be the same.
      • 9 Years Ago
      OUch, glad the caught it when they did.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #5 Dream on, Nissans are some of the crappiest cars being produced right now in my opinion. I work at Carmax as a technician, so I get to work on almost every nearly new used car in existence, and Nissans always have a bunch of stuff wrong with them. Every Titan, Armada, Pathfinder etc. that comes in has horribly warped brakes, the rear ends self destruct, the Titan transmissions are going bad, the 350Z have electrical problems etc. Plus the interior of an Armada looks like a 90's Grand Am. Their SUVs start rusting out underneath after about 5 years in the Northeast too.
      The SUV that always needs the least amount of work when we get them in? Honda Pilot, hands down
      Sgt. Hulka
      • 9 Years Ago
      The lack of knowledge about this shut down expressed here is stunning. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH "COST CUTTING" OR "CHEAP PARTS".

      These bad clutch bands were caught during bench-test breakdowns of samples that occur HOURLY by Ford and others in inspecting pproduct from outside sources.

      Ford deserves congratulations in nabbing these so quickly. JIT delivery meant that the assembly plants were forced down almost within a few hours. LEAN MFG. in operation. In all likelyhood not a single bad clutch was put into a car.

      But lets see how the great American auto and biz press reports this 24 hour disruption. Let's see if the "experts" contrast Ford's quick tactical decision with those of, say, Honda and Toyota when they experienced tranny problems. My bet is that it won't happen. And Ford deserves accolades.
      • 9 Years Ago
      DEARBORN, Mich., April 28 Ford Motor Company on Monday will resume building vehicles at seven assembly plants that were shut down for a day due to a parts issue that has been resolved.

      Working quickly with its supplier partner, Ford resolved the issue on the clutch mechanism in its 4R70/75 4-speed, rear-wheel-drive automatic transmission. The transmission is used in the Ford F-150, Expedition, E-Series and Lincoln Town Car. The vehicles are built at Fords Dearborn Truck, Michigan Truck, Norfolk Assembly, Ohio Assembly, Wixom Assembly, Kansas City Assembly and Cuautitlan Assembly plants.

      Ford is confident that no affected vehicles reached customer hands, as the company worked to ensure the part met its quality standards and specifications.

      The day of lost vehicle production will be made up.

      from: media.ford.com
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is the right thing to do.

      But instead of letting the workers go home, Nissan takes times like this for drilling and training workers I hear.
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