April 17, 2001

The JAMA Approach To Recall Operations

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA; Hiroshi Okuda, chairman) has announced the "JAMA Approach to Recall Operations" as the final report of the Recall Study Group originally formed in October of last year.

This report is based on studies with the purpose of promoting activities by member companies to restore public confidence in the recall issue, and addresses the following areas: (1) "Model systems and approaches" -- to contribute to the enhancement of systems and other means used by individual companies to pursue recall-related operations in more efficient fashion; (2) "Enlightenment activities" -- to gain the understanding of customers and others of systems concerning safety and other aspects of recalls; and (3) "decisions on recalls and other market measures" -- in the interest of conducting recall operations in smoother and more precision fashion.

The following is an outline of this report


1. Model Systems and Approaches

(1) Basic Thinking

  • Required to clarify the chain of responsibility pertaining to recall operations is "active involvement on the part of business executives."
  • Expansion of "in-house audit functions" is needed as an operations check function to advance recall operations in smoother and more precision fashion.
  • Recall-related systems and other formats need to be presented to the public as model systems and approaches in a way easy to understand.

(2) Model Systems and Approaches
All member companies respect the following model systems and approaches, and are striving to improve and expand their internal systems along these lines.

  • Business executives (board members with representation right or executives with equivalent status -- the same below) will determine the responsibilities of those in charge of recall-related operations (executives in charge of quality), and lay down the policies for performing these operations.
  • Business executives will establish the following management systems.
    • Progress monitoring systems covering the entire flow of operations, from reception of defect information to investigation, analysis and judgment.
    • Deliberation system of experts from related divisions capable of maintaining independence, to issue judgments on the need for market measures.
    • Internal audit function to regularly audit the actual situations based on the policies.
  • Business executives will conduct evaluations and reviews of the policies and other directions, based on the results of audit

2. Enlightenment Activities

(1) Activities to Enhance Customer Understanding
To enhance customer awareness of recalls and other measures, avoid misunderstandings and ensure system use with full peace of mind, sales outlet leaflets, websites, booklets, maintenance notebooks and other materials will be used to promote understanding of systems related to safety, including recalls. Efforts will also be advanced through consumer groups to promote the understanding.

(2) Activities to Enhance Dealer Understanding
To ensure that sales company staffers are capable of providing pertinent responses to inquiries and other communications from customers, dealer manuals will be prepared to raise the understanding of these personnel. Along with this, an even more thorough approach will be adopted to the forwarding of defect information received at dealer outlets to the manufacturers.

3. Decisions on Recalls and Other Market Measure
In the interest of conducting recall operations in smoother and more precision fashion, there is a need to establish greater clarity with regard to decisions on recalls or other market measures. The approach adopted for this purpose is to use examples of past decisions, as well as precedents existing in other countries as references for reaching decisions on market measures for situations related to specific defects. Work is currently underway to compile a working system toward this end, with consultations on the results scheduled with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport .