Dr. Helmig Attorney-at-Law

Law Firm for all legal issues concerning the international automotive supplier industry.

Current topics

Type-Approval Requirements conflicting with Recourse against Suppliers

26. February 2018, Dr. Ekkehard Helmig - Blog

It is -incorrectly- somehow common sense in the automotive industry top down, that in most cases the roote cause for a recall or a service campaign can be allocated at the (sole) responsibility of the supplier of a component or a system. This view is primarily recourse driven rather than based on serious technical analysis and legal assessment of responsibilities in terms of burden of proof. This system of the terms & conditions and other contractual documents of OEMs and 1st TIER suppliers pave the way to collect costs for -alleged- damages from suppliers on a lower level and to shift responsibilities for accidents and injuries to those suppliers. 

Type-Approval Requirements conflicting with Recourse against Suppliers

Defeat device-Certificate of Confirmation under European Type-approval Regulations

24. November 2017, Dr. Ekkehard Helmig - Blog

The debate on so called “certificates of conformity” and their legal significance plays a major role in determining the legal claims a buyer may have against a vehicle manufacturer. Regulatory acts of the European Union such as the Framework Directive 2007/46/EC on type approval of motor vehicles provide rules regarding the “certificates of conformity”. The certificates’ legal integration into domestic sales law comes with uncertainties. If national law is, however, interpreted consistently with Union law, these “certificates of conformity” give rise to direct rights held by the buyer. Arzt and Harke have commented in detail on this issue in their article on EU certificates of conformity and their

Defeat device-Certificate of Confirmation under European Type-approval Regulations

Legal issues surrounding 8D Reports

07. November 2017, Dr. Ekkehard Helmig - Blog

8D Reports are widely used in the automotive industry to handle customer complaints and in many ways, 8D Reports are useful documents. From a legal perspective, however, they also bear risks. The Reports are compiled by the supplier. The issues begin with the observation that 8D Reports are meant to present “facts”. In my experience, this means that courts will deem the information presented in 8D Reports as the legal facts of a case and allocate the responsibility for technical problems accordingly. Courts will usually consider the established facts as acknowledgements of responsibility in a legal sense from which the respective party to the proceedings will hardly ever recover. The argument that it is not the 8D Reports’ objective to make legally binding declarations will not be heard by the courts because these documents represent an integral part of the contract between the parties that is aimed at determining root causes and corrective measures. Any technical and legal consequences are based thereon.

Legal issues surrounding 8D Reports

Type-Approval Requirements conflicting with Recourse against Suppliers

26. February 2018, Dr. Ekkehard Helmig - Blog

It is -incorrectly- somehow common sense in the automotive industry top down, that in most cases the roote cause for a recall or a service campaign can be allocated at the (sole) responsibility of the supplier of a component or a system. This view is primarily recourse driven rather than based on serious technical analysis and legal assessment of responsibilities in terms of burden of proof. This system of the terms & conditions and other contractual documents of OEMs and 1st TIER suppliers pave the way to collect costs for -alleged- damages from suppliers on a lower level and to shift responsibilities for accidents and injuries to those suppliers. 

Type-Approval Requirements conflicting with Recourse against Suppliers