Robert Bosch plans to get more involved in the production processes of its own suppliers following a diesel fuel pump mishap that shut down production at key automaker clients earlier this month.

Europe's largest automotive supplier is working extra shifts to catch up with the production of high-pressure pumps for common-rail diesels after it had halted output following the discovery of excessive wear on a coating during endurance testing. The production stop forced Mercedes-Benz and BMW to halt production of some models for several days.

"One thing we learnt is to step up our in-process tests at Tier Two and Tier Three suppliers," said Bernd Bohr, head of Bosch's automotive operations. He added that the company plans to look more closely at endurance testing as it is carried out by its suppliers. The defective parts on the diesel pumps came from a supplier to Bosch.

Bosch is concerned about its reputation for quality. The world's biggest supplier has had problems with electronic braking systems on the Mercedes E class and engine management systems for some BMW V8 engines.

Bohr said Bosch will assume full responsibility for the fuel-pump mishap.

"We clearly said that, for justified claims, Bosch is responsible," he said.

Automotive News Europe

Bosch brake system problem prompts recall of 155,465 GM vehicles in US