In our recent QS audit we were cited for not getting customer approval for shipping product that was out of print. We have been registered for 3.5 years by a company that is known to be on the "tougher" side of the spectrum in their audits.The following had not ever been an issue in any other audits: We had documented that product that is out of print, yet still functional, could be shipped with appropriate internal approvals. As an example, if a heat treated part is found in the sampling to be 1 point too hard, yet all other destructive testing was within the limits, our lab supervisor would note it on the lab sheet and sign off as "ok to ship". He has done this based on the functional knowledge of the product he tests and has documented authority to do so. He also may ask the heat treat supplier to take corrective action to ensure that it doesn't happen. The same goes for dimensional items that may have a slight non-conformance in a non-critical or non-functional area. Our customers (the big 3), would laugh in our face if we called them for their approval with these trivial things. I guess the question is, is there a way to document our way around this and still meet the standard?