Quality Improvement through Product Redesign

CorkSport is dedicated to providing top quality, reliable products to our valued customers. To ensure that our products can keep meeting the demands of the market and adopting forward-looking design techniques, CorkSport may periodically announce product changes or cease product on obsolete models.

One such example of this is the CorkSport Mazdaspeed 3 Front Sway Bar that was released in March of this year. The bar had gone through several design iterations and had been tested on the CorkSport 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 to ensure fit, form, and function during the development phase, however once the product was released, one of our customers identified an issue, and with his help, we took steps to update the design.

Long time CorkSport customer and autocross enthusiast Steve Kritzberg was one of the first to purchase the sway bar. Upon initial installation of the bar, Steve immediately noticed the difference in handling over OEM bar, “The bar was a big improvement over the OEM bar in handling,” Steve recalled, “It kept the car flatter in the turns, as well as quicker turn in.” Unfortunately the stress that Kritzberg’s sway bar was under during autocrossing and his daily commute to and from work on the pothole and crevasse strewn roads of NYC, caused the bar to fail.

Steve immediately got in touch with CorkSport, “I got on the phone with Derrick and dropped him an email with photos.” CorkSport’s customer service manager, Kelly, then kicked into action and sent a stock bar to Steve to put in while engineering worked with him to identify the issue.

“The original design was pretty unorthodox,” said Steve, “The welds and finishes were nice, but during the CorkSport redesign process, I recommended they go with a more conventional design.”

As part of CorkSport’s design procedures, any major change that may impact form, dimension, quality, function, endurance or reliability, will be directly communicated to customers affected, so while CorkSport worked with Steve to improve the design of the bar, our customer service department reached out to each of the other purchasers to make them aware of the potential problem and CorkSport put out a public statement regarding the product issue.

“As soon as the problem was identified, CorkSport posted on the Mazdaspeed Forums and put the issue on the table,” Steve stated, “That is just good business!”

The redesign took approximately six weeks to complete. “I was contacted by Kelly and Derrick several times during the process to ensure the problem was being taken care of to my satisfaction,” said Steve, “The service was awesome. Not only did CorkSport send out a thank you gift in consideration for helping them with the redesign process, but also contacted me once the new design was completed to ask if I would be willing to test the bar.”

When asked how the new product is performing for Steve, he had this to say, “I really like it! I especially like the combo of the bar and the CorkSport Lowering Spring Set. The new bar is definitely stiffer than the first bar and the car feels more balanced.”

When asked if Steve had it to over again, would he still purchase from CorkSport, he responded with a resounding, YES. “Without a doubt! Great product and great service!”

Every product that is developed by CorkSport is handled with personal accountability and though we develop, design, and test our products thoroughly prior to release, from time-to-time, it is our dedicated customers that help us to refine and perfect our products to the uncompromising standards people have come to expect in CorkSport products.

A special thanks to Steven Kritzberg for working with us to develop a top performing Mazdaspeed 3 Front Sway Bar and for taking time out of his busy schedule to co-author this post!


4 Replies to “Quality Improvement through Product Redesign”

  1. You guys are awesome… Is there a Front Sway Bar for the MZ3 in the works still or what? I would love to have one to match the rear.

    James Malnar

  2. Yes, I have both already, I need a front sway bar for MZ3. Sure, I could buy some off brand… But I want all CS. It has to match 🙂 No rush, but if you do design one please let me know.

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