FMEA 5th edition, 2018 is the year of change

The 5th edition of the FMEA is here to harmonize AIAG and VDA, offering lots of changes for auto industry companies. Find out more!

Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) are the highest entities when it comes to regulations and good practices in the auto industry. Yet they do not always speak the same language, and FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) is one area where there are different understandings. But 2018 is the year of change, the year of harmonization. Do you know why?

After many years of discussions regarding differences in application and the methodology related to FMEA, the 5th edition will be jointly launched, harmonizing practices between the AIAG  and VDA. Three years of joint efforts have resulted in significant changes that will have a direct impact on companies across the entire auto industry chain.

It is worth noting that this change had already been expected for some time, mostly by companies providing services in various markets and that need their processes to be validated using more than one standard. This creates twice the cost and work.

FMEA 5th edition – The biggest changes

The FMEA Process in six stages

The revised FMEA process is now represented by six stages:

Stage 1: Definition of scope and project planning.
Stage 2: Structure analysis
Stage 3: Function analysis
Stage 4: Resource analysis
Stage 5: Risk analysis
Stage 6: Optimization


A new method was added: FMEA-MSR (FMEA for Monitoring and System Response). FMEA-MSR is aimed at maintaining a safe state (security, for instance) or state of regulatory compliance (environmental, for example) during the client’s operation.

RPN is not as important any more

This change could be surprising, since this element was always considered the cornerstone of the FMEA, but RPN (Risk Priority Number) no longer carries as much weight. The main element now is AP (Action Priority). AP is not risk priority, it is action priority (high, medium or low) to reduce the risk of failure in the intended function.

Updated score tables

The criteria for Severity, Occurrence and Detection were revised in an effort to guarantee harmonization between the models.

Two types of recommended actions

The “Recommended Action,” which is also widely known, of the 4th edition has changed to two columns: “Preventive Action” and “Detection Action.”

Changes are not confined to those listed; after all, the Red Print (final version) is still not available (it should be before the end of 2018). However, discussion workshops and draft versions are already sufficient for companies to start to take action and review their processes.

Want to learn more about a solution that can greatly improve your performance in creating and maintaining your FMEA plans? Click here or on the button below.

Learn about the SoftExpert FMEA solution

Tobias Schroeder


Tobias Schroeder

MBA in Strategic Management from UFPR. Business and market analyst at SoftExpert, a software provider for enterprise-wide business processes automation, improvement, compliance management and corporate governance.

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