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Ongoing Issues Caused by Japan Earthquake in 2011

Image via Flickr by MSVG

In the wake of news that companies are not actually taking the necessary steps to protect their supply chains, new information uncovered by Supply Chain News highlights just how long the supply chain can suffer when a key region involved in the process experiences a tragic event. The latest news ties the recent recall of U.S. auto manufacturer Chrysler of half a million vehicles to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. Two years after the devastation, OEM parts that the manufacturer scrambled to get when Japanese suppliers were unable to deliver are still causing the auto maker quality issues.

According to the article, these vehicles have the potential of bearing faulty microcontrollers. These microcontrollers entered the supply chain during the microcontroller shortage after the earthquake and tsunami. Chrysler is now recalling Sebring models produced from 2011-2013, Chrysler 200 models, and Dodge Avenger models of the same year. Additionally, the company is recalling Dodge Nitros produced from 2011 to 2012 and Jeep Liberty vehicles produced between 2011 and 2013.

When companies fail to have a suitable backup plan for natural disasters, political upheaval, social unrest, and other unpredictable events, they must find alternate supplies quickly. Some auto manufacturers around the world were unable to produce all the vehicles scheduled following the natural disasters in Japan. Scrambling to find substitute suppliers often leads to inconsistent or poor quality supplies, which can lead to many other long-term issues such as those Chrysler is facing.

Japan is the fourth largest trader of goods and services in the world, and the impact of their disasters was felt most painfully in the automotive industry and in the field of technology. Japan’s Asian neighbors are also subject to similar disasters, and are also responsible for supplying many of the automotive and technology supplies that the rest of the world depends on. News sources say the natural disasters in Japan led to fewer exports going out of the country, and an increase in the number of imports they needed to purchase elsewhere.

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