Global competition has forced companies to consider increasing quality and decreasing all costs, including quality costs. When constructing the quality plan for both the incoming raw materials and the manufacturing process, all quality characteristics (QCs) of products or processes cannot be measured or tested because of preventive costs. Companies should decide which QCs are significant and should be measured or tested. This paper presents a methodology for selecting the significant QCs of a product. A quality function deployment failure matrix is proposed, incorporating failure information from design failure mode and effect analysis, related QCs, vague information on technical difficulties, and imprecise cost and time measurements for QCs. In addition, this method uses a fuzzy multiple-objective decision model that addresses two objectives: maximising the priorities of QCs and minimising the technical difficulties within the constraints of limited cost and time. A two-phase approach is used for solving the fuzzy multiple-objective model. A real application to a backhoe loader wheel is presented as an illustration.