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Success stories

Next Generation Integrated Wheel Airbag Design – Automotive client

Discovery: A proposed integrated design indicated that a lower R/1000 incidence rate would be offset by a much higher Cost Per Repair. ICG’s analysis showed that adopting this design in luxury vehicles would create negative outcomes:

  • Increased cost due to replacements for leather trim and cover flaws.
  • Parts and service resisted having to “warehouse explosives.”
  • Use of special tools required by the new design would drive up standard labor time rates.
Result: Design was simplified, removing the need for leather replacement. The need for special tools was eliminated. Changes were made to the assembly process. Supply chain alterations satisfied warehouse concerns.

Current Generation Driver Airbag Design – Automotive client

Discovery: Clockspring supplier had high warranty charges but zero defects on 100% replacement inspection. Clockspring was being automatically replaced as a “safety issue” when dealerships replaced airbag.

Result: Business process for dealer warranty reimbursement was revised.

Remote Key Entry (RKE) System – Automotive client

Discovery: ICG’s analysis revealed that reprogramming the RKE fob was prevalent due to the assembly plant’s lack of understanding of supplier’s process: marriage of RKE fobs and receiver before delivery to assembly plant. RKE fobs found “failed” due to separation from the appropriate receiver and could not be reprogrammed at the plant due to excessive RF interference. Vehicles are shipped with non-operable fobs. Also, ICG discovered an error in standard labor rate for reprogramming promoted excessive dealer reprogramming.

Result: Process for keeping “married pairs” together was instituted at the plant. Business process for dealer warranty reprogramming was revised.

Vehicle Seating System – Automotive client

Discovery: Two seat suppliers had similar quality but radically different warranty claim costs. One packaged seats as a “vehicle set” so that any flaw required the replacement of the entire set. As the expensive set would have to be set aside on the line, the set was installed and the offending seat marked for repair. The other palletized seats with reported lower warranty costs allowed an easy substitution of a single seat before the flawed seat was installed into the vehicle.

Result: Supplier seat palletizing was revised and assembly process was commonized.


Warranty solutions require a holistic view of the component life cycle. Clients burdened by high warranty costs ask, “If it’s so costly, why haven’t we solved the problem?” The answer lies in the complexity and misinterpretation of warranty data.

Warranty data describes only “how you spent the money” and acts only as an indirect pointer to quality. Available data is often misinterpreted or insufficient, or both. Input is needed from all stakeholders in the product life cycle for sound analysis. Predicting your exposure requires a “warranty process failure analysis” focusing on policy execution as well as the product itself.

ICG warranty processes guide clients to:

  • Reduce current, intractable warranty costs
  • Predict next generation warranty costs
  • Design better, lower cost lifecycle designs
  • Constructively define warranty sharing
In addition, ICG examines an organization’s Business Systems, an invisible “fourth leg” of the traditional solution tripod of Design, Materials, and Manufacturing. Intractable warranty costs despite “zero defects” are often due to one or more open loops in Business Systems. Business Systems solutions generate effective, often immediate, cost saving actions.

Warranty savings are substantial. Frequently over 50% of warranty costs represent labor that is paid even if the claim is later declined. An improved serviceability process reduces basic warranty costs.