New QS-9000 Sanctioned Interpretations

New QS-9000 Sanctioned Interpretations dated July 1, 2001 have been issued by the Supplier Quality Requirements Task Force of DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors. A letter to their global suppliers said the document had been updated with three new interpretations as part of their continued effort to support quality performance in the automotive supply chain.

The three new interpretations are:

1. Entry C9 for QS-9000 3rd Edition, clause 4.6.2.1, now defines the goal of subcontractor development as compliance within 18 months after the effective date of the interpretation. Minimum compliance must be certification by an accredited certification body to a current version of the ISO 9000 Quality Management Series of Standards (excluding ISO 9003), plus any requirements specified by the customer.

This means QS-9000 organizations must require all their subcontractors to become ISO 9001 or ISO 9002 registered by January 1, 2003. Industry schemes based on ISO 9000 would also be acceptable, for example, QS-9000, TL 9000, AS9100, or ISO/TS 16949.

It is important to look at the QS-9000 Glossary definition of “subcontractor” to see which suppliers are covered by this new interpretation: providers of production materials, or production or service parts, directly to a supplier to (the Big Three) or other customers subscribing to this document. Also included are providers of heat treating, painting, plating, or other finishing services.

Note the reference to a “current” version. The 1994 editions of ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 will be withdrawn on December 15, 2003, requiring registration to ISO 9001:2000 at that time, or to an current version of one of the industry standards based on ISO 9000.

2. Section K of entry R3 in the Interpretations document pertains to the surveillance audit frequency for suppliers placed on probation.

3. Entry R7 defines what is required concerning notification by a supplier to its registrar of any site changes due to closure or transfer of ownership, including merger, acquisition, or joint venture.

The Interpretations are a binding extension of QS-9000 and are effective as of the date shown for each reference number in the document. As a result, they should be a part of every QS-9000 supplier’s Contract Review documentation.

For complete details, please see item E2 at the AIAG site: <http://www.aiag.org/quality.html> or view the text at the IASG site: <http://www.qs-9000.org>.