Before the popularization of interchangeable parts, automotive manufacturing involved more skill and  precision. Standardizing screws and parts allowed unskilled workers to produce large numbers of cars quickly, and repair them easily. This made manufacturing more efficient, and thus, more profitable. However, with millions of parts coming in for production in several different models, the margin for error decreases.
In the current age of electronic engineering, a car with no errors is the standard in automotive manufacturing. Ford lost $467 million due to warranty payments in the first quarter, including a $295 million charge for two recalls involving engines that could catch fire and door latches. These issues occurred in multiple models, compounding the problems because consumers see this as more than a parts issue. This hurts Ford’s reputation as a reliable car manufacturer.
Ford’s CEO, Mark Fields, highlights the fact that the same parts go into multiple models, but he spins this into a positive feature showing the company’s innovation. “We were a little bit ahead of the industry in reducing our platforms and getting commonality of parts,” he said. “When we do have a recall, it tends to hit a bigger population. Whenever we see something, we’re going to act very proactively for the customer. That’s exactly what we’ll continue to do” (Automotive News).