Nissan Loses Bid to Shift Blame, Pays Brake Defect Award

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The Sixth Circuit Court has denied Nissan‘s claim to offload a multi-million dollar jury award onto its brake supplier, Continental, highlighting the importance of clear contractual terms.

Gathered from multiple sources:

A fatal crash linked to a defective braking system in a Nissan Infiniti left the car manufacturer footing the bill after their attempt to shift liability to the parts supplier, Continental Automotive Systems Inc., was rejected.

Key details:

  • Accident: A braking system malfunction in a Nissan Infiniti led to a fatal crash.
  • Jury award: The product liability case resulted in a multi-million dollar jury award against Nissan.
  • Indemnification claim: Nissan sought to recoup the costs from Continental, stating their contract provided for such situations.
  • Court ruling: The Sixth Circuit Court denied Nissan’s claim, citing specific contractual conditions not met in this case.


The contract between Nissan and Continental stipulated that Continental would only be liable for indemnification if their parts were both defective and directly caused personal injury. In the product liability case, the jury did not identify the brake parts as the sole cause of the accident, rendering Nissan’s claim ineligible.


This ruling underscores the importance of precise and unambiguous contractual terms, particularly regarding liability and indemnification. It also serves as a reminder for manufacturers to prioritize product quality and safety to minimize potential legal and financial repercussions.

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The Brake Report
The Brake Report

The BRAKE Report is an online media platform dedicated to the automotive and commercial vehicle brake segments. Our mission is to provide the global brake community with the latest news & headlines from around the industry.