An Amazing Letter on Why Automotive Quality is Vitally Important to Society

This letter was a response to an article I posted on this site “I’m Grateful for Being a Part of the Automotive Quality Community. Thank You All!”



Thanks man, I really enjoyed that.  It matches my life philosophy really well.


My mission statement:  “To extend the average life expectancy of mankind.”


I know this sounds huge and unobtainable, but actually I am on track and it really is happening.  My job/career is a quality engineer at Robert Bosch LLC in Charleston SC.  I have been working here since the second generation of ABS production began and now we are on the ninth generation.  ABS2 was just that, base ABS antilock braking.  The slogan “stomp and steer”, replaced the emergency reaction of “pump your brakes!!! to prevent skidding out of control”.  The next generation to be produced here was ABS5, that had the added option of traction control.  This gave vehicles the amazing ability to drive forward on slippery surfaces, that in the past could have trapped a person in a remote area far from a safe haven.  The next generation ESP was developed with several variations of performance enhancements promoting even greater safety related results.


When I started here almost 20 years ago, we were in the over ~1000 PPM for zero mileage issues due mainly to microcontroller and contamination issues.  Now we are at less than 5 PPM for a much more complicated product with many more features.


Every time a driver uses one these systems in their vehicles and it prevents an accident, it is one more small step towards achieving my mission statement.  Before any part leaves this plant, I make 100% sure that I would feel safe with it in my mother or fathers vehicle before letting it into the general population.  Which by chance both of them do drive a vehicle with my systems in them.


I take pride in my role and even resist temptation to get promoted and leave this area for the better good of the company anywhere around the world, but I like where I am in the game, next to the action and know that I make a difference.  It is not about the paycheck, it is about being in a position to make a difference in the world.


Being in the quality role is a large task to handle and sometimes competes with the targets or manufacturing coworkers.  People’s lives depend on us being right and making the right decisions which sometimes cost large dollars.  One of my close friends in Germany described her position which is the same as mine, she said, “You have two options in this world, you can either have friends at work or work in quality.”  I am fortunate to have both in America, outside of work we are different people.  When we are here, we have a role to play and that is the expectation.


Every day makes a difference, even if only in a small way.  Building perfect parts to help save lives.  In the past, people involved in the same vehicle conditions, without ABS/TCS/ESP might have perished from Earth, which makes me believe that I am fulfilling my mission statement.  “To extend the average life expectancy of mankind.”


Hope you have a GREAT holiday and thanks again for assisting me to get where I am today.


Best regards,

Steven Carney