Many researchers consider absenteeism to be a significant problem for employers. Absenteeism lowers the overall level of worker expertise, which may affect product quality and trigger an increase in customer complaints. This research was carried out in a prominent automobile manufacturing company, with an assembly line¿driven rigid production process. This article gathered customer quality complaints registered during the 17 months after cars were delivered to customers, from one year of car production, to analyze how employee absenteeism affects customer quality complaints. The empirical evidence presented by this research in the automotive industry confirms that absenteeism does not lead, necessarily, to a decrease in quality. This evidence must make organization redefine the value of their expert workers. Moreover, these results could have an impact on assembly-line design and the use of worker job-rotation programs for technologically sophisticated assembly lines.