Product Liability in the Automobile Industry
In the framework of the ongoing extension of active and passive safety systems automobiles are becoming increasingly complex. In this context the faultlessness of systems becomes more and more important, as with growing complexity not only the number but also the severity of possible faults is increasing. Even implemented equal parts strategies can quickly lead to a large number of affected vehicles in case of defects. An indicator for this is the growing number of recalls in recent years. Each manufacturer holds the responsibility for consequential damages caused by its products when used as intended. This responsibility is defined by law in all countries and has civil and criminal penalties. Examples include cases of damage and recalls of large numbers of vehicles that several OEMs were obliged to do during the last few years. Obviously a safety related recall of a mass product may have severe or even existence-threatening consequences. Consequently, manufacturers must ensure faultlessness throughout their organization. Amongst others, questions may raise like:
- Who in the company is responsible for product safety?
- Is your entire organization set up to avoid safety-related errors or to reduce the risk?
- Is compliance with product liability ensured throughout the company?
- In the case of allegations, can targeted and comprehensive evidence be quickly provided?
- How can unwarranted claims be averted?
- What can be learned from the product liability cases, which are particularly well received by the public?
Who should attend?
The seminar is aimed at all decision-makers in the automotive development, production and at suppliers who want to learn about the consequences of product liability and want to get familiar with preventive measures.
The aim of this course is to convey the importance of product liability for businesses and employees as well as an understanding of preventive measures.
- Fundamentals of Product Liability
- Civil and criminal responsibility of the company and personal liability of employees
- Liability for Defects
- Product liability in Europe and in the U.S.
- U.S. TREAD ACT, Reporting obligation for OEMs and suppliers
- Motor Vehicle Whistleblower Act (what to expect?)
- Importance of norms and standards (e.g. ISO26262 Functional Safety)
- Product liability and advertisement / public relations of companies
- Quality management and its relevance from a product liability point of view
- Product liability in the supply chain
- Consequences of new technologies (driver assistance systems, autonomous vehicles)
- Instructions, warnings
- Risk minimization within the organization, prevention
- Preventive product safety measures during product development
- Product observation and resulting consequences
- Documentation, conclusive evidence
- Insurance of product liability risk
- Recall decision and processing
Hans-Georg Lohrmann was Manager of Reliability & Conformity of Production at ZF TRW Automotive GmbH. He has many years of experience in the field of safety, reliability and product liability in the automotive sector. Since September 2015 he has retired and is still active as a freelance consultant. He specializes in the area of restraint systems for vehicle occupant protection and supports his clients in the areas of reliability, safety planning and methods of verification and litigation support.
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All prices are exclusive of VAT.