TS16949:2016 adds long list of requirements

In 2014, the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) reported that the automotive industry wouldn’t upgrade the ISO/TS 16949 standard to ISO 9001:2015, much to the dismay of Tier One suppliers. In a survey that same year, Tier One suppliers related their desire to update their management systems to ISO 9001. Additionally, they weren’t happy with the industry’s onerous customer-specific requirements.

It’s interesting to note that many years ago, QS-9000, the predecessor to ISO/TS 16949, was written to reduce the proliferation of standards in the automotive industry. The number of new requirements coming from both the OEMs and Tier Ones in the last few years definitely looks like a return to the pre-QS-9000 days.

The IATF took two steps based on this feedback from Tier One suppliers. First, they would update ISO/TS 16949 to ISO 9001:2015, and that they were going to create a task force to do so. Second, they would try to understand customer needs before embarking on the change.

When evaluating a new draft standard against the current ISO/TS 16949, the following forces come into play (figure 1):

Recent ethical scandals in industry, autonomous cars, automatic braking, and Tier One needs for simplifying customer-specific requirements are the main drivers of ISO/TS 16949:2016. The recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announcement brought about an agreement with 20 OEMS to equip all new light-duty vehicles with automatic braking and forward-collision warning by 2022. This agreement and the race toward autonomous and semiautonomous vehicles have spurred a focus on product safety and embedded software for this update. And due to a few OEM recalls and poor Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) ratings, there will also be a requirement for corporate responsibility. A number of customer-specific requirements will be addressed as well to reduce differences in these requirements between OEMs and Tier Ones.

ISO/TS 16949:2016 changes

The quality management standard ISO 9001:2015 has major changes itself, including the addition of context, interested-party expectations, planning, and risk-based thinking. These will have to be considered along with the additions planned for ISO/TS 16949:2016.

Determining the number of “shalls” in these two standards allows us to make some interesting comparisons:
1. ISO/TS 16949 has twice the number of “shalls” than ISO 9001:2015.
2. There are 38 new “shalls” or requirements in ISO/TS 16949 from the IATF. These represent roughly 30 percent of the ISO 9001:2015 requirements.
3. Most of the new requirements for ISO/TS 16949 are found in Clause 8--“Operation,” which includes “product realization” from the previous standard.

Changes ISO/TS 16949:2016

The running changes in ISO/TS 16949 are product safety and embedded software. In fact, there’s a requirement for organizations to conduct audits using the Automotive Software Process Improvement Capability Determination (SPICE) for internal and supplier-embedded software. To help reduce customer-specific requirements between the OEMs, internal auditor competencies will be added to the audit requirements. Also prominent are requirements for CQI-14 Warranty Management and CQI-19 Sub-Tier Supplier Management. There are nine identified key changes in the ISO/TS 16949:2016 draft.


ISO/TS 16949:2016 is expected to be released during the fourth quarter of 2016. The deadline for global implementation is Sept. 14, 2018 which is inline with the current expiry of the ISO 9001:2008 standard. Suppliers to the automotive industry must meet this challenge head on due to the number of significant changes, opportunities for improvement, and tight deadlines.