United Technologies Automotive says it's a coincidence, and maybe it is, as it appoints a new vice president of quality and enterprise productivity just as the dust settles from the 8.7 million-vehicle recall of Ford vehicles equipped with UTA ignition switches. More than 1,000 fires have been linked to the switch. Michael O'Day takes over the post as the automaker and the supplier agree to share the cost of the recall, expected to cost $300 million. No details on who pays what. Mr. O'Day replaces Mike Ryan, who becomes director of manufacturing for UTA's interiors business. Mr. Ryan had been in the quality position since September 1994. The switch being replaced in the recall was redesigned in 1993. The supplier's Traverse City, MI plant "is just making more of them now," says a UTA spokesman. The agreement also protects the supplier from any litigation stemming from the switch. In a pair of other intriguing Ford-UTA items following the switch flap, UTA hires long-time Ford PR person Linda M. Cummins as vice president-communications and external affairs with responsibility for all internal and external communications worldwide, and UTA wins a coveted "Full Service Supplier" designation from Ford covering just about everything contained in a steering wheel -- from horns and air bag covers to, yes, switches.