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