NAFE newsletters and articles

Forensic Engineering Analysis of Design & Manufacturing Practices for an Automotive Spring

Article Author:  John Leffler, PE (NAFE 709S)

Volume: 34
Volume #: 1
Month: June
Year: 2017

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A child fatality case focused on the failure of springs in an automotive control system switch. In the forensic engineering analysis, the actions of the spring manufacturer, switch manufacturer, control system manufacturer, and vehicle manufacturer were of interest. Relevant details included the spring manufacturing drawing, the spring design itself, the Design Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (DFMEA) conducted by the switch manufacturer, apparent absence of quality assurance testing, warranty return failure descriptions, and the actions taken by various entities upon notice of spring failures.


Forensic engineering, spring, FMEA, fatigue, validation, quality assurance, control, warranty

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