SOUTHFIELD, MI - In a joint initiative, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) collaborated with four major vehicle manufacturers – Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing N.A. Inc. – along with 17 supplier member companies to refine the warranty management process set-forth in CQI-14, also known as Consumer-Centric Warranty Management: A Guideline for Industry Best Practices.

“The reduction of field warranty claims is critical to improving consumer satisfaction, as measured by short-term initial quality and long-term vehicle durability and reliability,” says J. Scot Sharland, executive director, AIAG.

During an industry rollout event for the second edition guideline yesterday, Chrysler Group LLC formally announced that CQI-14 self-assessment will be required of Chrysler suppliers in 2011. Further, AIAG and OESA announced the development of a training program, expected to launch in July 2010, to educate constituents on the CQI-14 warranty management process.

Dave Sakata, vice president, technology at Freudenberg-NOK and leader of the Consumer-Centric Warranty Management Work Group, says, “A cultural change focusing on reducing incident rate is needed. It is necessary to develop continuous improvement processes that keep track of warranty parts information and other data for further investigation, and to conduct root cause analysis so that solutions and lessons learned can be determined and implemented in current and future programs.”

Neil De Koker, president and chief executive officer of OESA, adds, “Consumer-Centric Warranty Management: A Guideline for Industry Best Practices” demonstrates how companies throughout the global value chain can embrace cultural change and reduce risk by constantly feeding lessons learned from warranty back into the product development process.”

The consumer-centric warranty methodology promotes advances in consumer satisfaction and continuous warranty improvement by providing a recommended, robust warranty management program that instills a consumer-centric approach. This methodology begins with the end-consumer in mind, providing tactics, techniques and case studies for all constituencies, particularly vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers. The guideline is organized in steps that organizations can take to proactively reduce warranty incident rates and risks associated with warranty events. For more information on the guideline and training program

AIAG is a unique not-for-profit organization where for more than 25 years, OEMs, suppliers, service providers, government and academia have worked collaboratively to drive cost and complexity from the supply chain via global standards development and harmonized business practices. AIAG membership has grown to include preeminent OEMs such as Caterpillar, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Honda, Navistar International, Nissan, Toyota and many of their part suppliers and service providers.

The Original Equipment Suppliers Association provides a strategic forum for the automotive industry’s original equipment suppliers. Membership encompasses suppliers of components, modules, systems, materials and equipment used by the original equipment automotive industry.

Formed in August 1998, OESA provides a forum for automotive suppliers to address issues of common concern, serving as a resource for industry information and analysis, promoting the interests of the OE supplier community and serving as a voice and positive change agent for the industry.