Tree hugging dirt worshipper
I once worked in the factory service center of a major Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer.IMO this is great news. I'm a big fan of 'root cause failure analysis'. I believe it's a critical part of Quality Assurance (as opposed to QC or inspection). [...] I've worked for enlightened places that replaced failed goods with new but did the root cause analysis anyway (then scrapped the units in one case, sold as 'refurb' or 'demo' in others). That knowledge was deemed to be 'well worth the expense', with up to 10% of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) reserved for that purpose. Something like doing autopsies on dead livestock?
Back then most things were still repaired (tho replacement was just beginning to happen for some of the most inexpensive items like some portable tape players and clock radios) and returned to the customer. The defective parts were returned to Japan to be analyzed. We'd occasionally get bundles of reports back from Japan (on super-thin paper, presumably to reduce postage) detailing the analysis. They went as far as x-raying failed AC power cords to find the exact location and nature of the break, and x-raying integrated circuites to determine exactly how and in what part of the (on-chip) circuitry had failed. The detail and depth of the reports were truly fascinating! It was really amazing the extent they went to with failure analysis and post-production quality control.
[edited to remove now-off-topic parts and move them back to Ascent thread]