I know such a feeling, taking a customer request and identify their problem with a suggested solution. That is win-win situation. I always wander why such a big company could not figure out the root cause. That is why a consultant is there with a specific expertise. Good job! I hope you are going to have them as a repeat customer.
I wouldn't solely blame the designers of the product here. The toothbrush manufacturer could have had an issue with the transducer component supplier/manufacturer - i.e. the transducers themselves, being supplied to the toothbrush manufacturer were not being manufactured to the appropriate specifications/tolerances. This happens all the time when developing complex products and it is often impossible to predict lot-to-lot variances on components.
This sounds like a product that went into production way, way too fast. Just because one prototype worked well, doesn't mean it's ready for production. An engineer who thinks even slightly outside the box should have realized the transducer sub-system is a high-Q thing!
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.