. . . The notion that a serious defect, that could cause a catastrophic failure, has gone unnoticed by the owners for years is hard for me to visualize. If it was real, customers would have raised hell and the owners would have addressed it. . .
Ford Pinto gas tanks (6 or so dead)?
GM ignition switches (124 dead)?
Lead in paint (millions of kids cognitively impaired)?
Asbestos (miners, installers, users with lung disease)?
Drywall in Chinese baby formula?
Firestone tires (175 dead, near 1000 injured)?
Marlboro & other cigarettes?
Cheap drill bits either too soft to last or so hard they shatter (bad heat treat, maybe steel)?
Takata airbags (my ex BMW still not fixed)?
Prescription opioids (100,000 or so dead)?
Numerous case of faked certs on materials, fasteners? Fallen bridges.
Harbor Freight propane torches (apparently just one burned)?
737 Max (346 dead)?
And on the economic loss front, most every crappy appliance (coffee grinders, drills, lawnmowers, refrigerators, dehumidifiers, heaters, cell phones, stoves, washers, dryers, dishwashers, coffee makers, toasters . . .) now built and lasting 3 years instead of 30. Add in crappy software and products we can no longer fix ourselves.
For a while I kept a small "museum" of screwed up (and US) products. One of my favorites was a "high quality" square drive screwdriver bit with nothing but a mis-stamped nub on the end. It likely passed half a dozen people, clearly visible in its blister pack, on the way to me. Another favorite was a US adjustable wrench whose selling proposition was its wide opening. Turns out it screwed up even that. Those wrenches are no longer made in the US and it's now the Taiwanese actually making stuff like that to spec.
IMO, there's a direct line between not caring about customers and quality by quick-buck-artist-CEOs and our loss of manufacturing jobs. Even without lives lost, it's still a "job killer."
Japanese and US companies were once (and some still are) on the forefront of the quality movement. Now, too many are willing to put their customers good use and sometimes their lives at risk, for a next quarter's bonus. It could well be that your experience is different at Janco, but you may be selling to private and other companies still more concerned about a reputation for quality and customer service than a quick buck?