I was talking to a colleague last week about the release date of TR16949. I told him that the last date I saw was 1/1/05 and he said that didn't suprise him. He said that not only TR16949, but IS09000:2000 were being delayed (at least in part) by legal questions - liability, mostly. Apparently, legal questions are being raised about using language such as continuous improvement. The issue is whether a company is tied legally to continuous improvement if they bring it up in procedures. Can a customer sue a company for saying they do continuous improvement, but an audit (for instance) indicates a noncompliance in this area? They said they are doing continuous improvement, but don't show adequate evidence of it. My colleague said that's one hang-up with ISO standards - what are the ramifications legally for documenting something like continuous improvement? (Since ISO900:1994) does not mention continuous improvement, apparently it is safe!) As if the standards business wasn't tough enough without the legal stuff...
I think the issue of continuous improvement litigation belong more to ISO9000:2000 than to TR16949. However, because TR16949 is an ISO document, it is getting caught in the whirpool of ISO9000:2000 - at least that is what I hear from my sources. Anyway, the point is that TR16949 has been held up for some time. According to the BSI webpage, it is held up until 1/1/2005. That is the only place where I've seen a date associated with TR16949. Now getting back to your argument about what people sue over - this is the country where someone sued a lawnmower company for an injury they sustained while trying to use the lawnmower as a hedge trimmer and WON! (They won because they said that nowhere on the lawnmower did it state that it could not be used as a hedge trimmer!!) That kind of litigation is pretty scary! And at least for the time being, ALM, you should not wait to get registered to TR16949, so go ahead for QS9000 (I saw your message in the QS9000 forum!)
In spite of our sue-happy culture, I cannot imagine the "legal ramifications" of such.
We are talking CQI, here and exactly who is going to sue whom and over what measures?
Forgive my sarcasm but, the quality of my product may be in the toilet (for now) but if I have demonstrated improved preventative maintenance and machine uptime, have I not provided evidence of CQI? In the same situation, haven't I identified an area (toilet-quality) that is an opportunity for future improvement?
Who exactly is going to sue because I claim CQI, but their product stinks? I would think that I would be sued first of my crappy product not meeting required specs than for claiming that I perform CQI and cannot substantiate it is some, even many instances.
Apparently, all that had to be done to get TR16949 going again was for me to post a topic here about how it is going to be delayed!! I just received a copy of ActionLine from AIAG yesterday where they list on page 14 (albeit, in sketchy form)some details of the launch of TR16949. If I understand the 2nd bullit correctly (from the top of the page), the launch should take place 7/1/99. (I still wonder, though, how this will be affected by the arguing going on with ISO9000:2000.) You can order TR16949 documents (including the standard itself) from AIAG at (248)-358-3003. It is interesting to note that none of the Japanese automotive makers are listed among those accepting registration to TR16949. I expect, though, the Nissan will follow soon because they are a part of Renault now and Renault is listed as one of those ones accepting TR16949 registration. The saga continues....(where's Obi-Won-Kenobi when you need him).