An article in the Corvallis Gazette-Times makes the obvious connection between the cost-cutting effort by automakers to share platforms across multiple models and recent mega recalls that affect upwards of 3.8 million vehicles, as was the case with Ford's recent recall of the F-150, Expedition, Bronco and Lincoln Navigator for cruise control systems that could cause fires.
While the author makes the solid point that the cost associated with these recalls could potentially negate any savings realized from platform sharing, it fails to offer any insight into a solution beyond quoting an analyst who says, "they need to pay even more attention to any red flag that comes up."

[Thanks Joel for the tip]

Between the lines the author seems to condemn platform sharing as a necessary and potentially dangerous evil, which is a bit simplistic. Gone are the days when an automaker could afford producing a single model on a dedicated platform, thereby reducing the scope of potential recalls. Also, more vehicles than ever are being sold each year, making nearly any recall of a popular model bigger than the one before.

Choosing the F-150?s recall is also a bit misleading, as not only is its platform shared among many other vehicles but it?s also the best selling vehicle in the world. Its #1 status among consumers is, I would argue, the main factor that contributed to the enormous scale of its recall.

It could certainly be the case that I read the article wrong, so I?d be interested to know if anyone else extracted a different message from it.

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