Customer Complaint - PPAP - Issues not called out on the print



I have been a Quality Manager at my current location for 8 months out of necessity as our old QM was fired. I only had experience as a layout tech so it's been a very...interesting year.

I am currently dealing with a customer complaint with unusual circumstances, at least from my experience.

We were kicked off on a new part about 1.5 years ago and have been strung along ever since. We submitted PPAP, but they didn't approve it because there was an engineering issue. Then it was corrected and we resubmitted, but then they had another engineering issue so they delayed signing the PSW again.

Then they said they needed parts. I reviewed our submissions with our SQE and he signed an interim approval so that we could send parts and their engineering could figure out what they wanted to do with the design.

Then they requested several runs at production capacity...

We submitted 14,000 parts after discussing with the SQE (he said the parts were tested and worked well) and then received a complaint. a slide shut-off was causing issues with assembly which was my 1st indication testing was not done.

We changed the shut-off condition and parts were submitted and approved. We made another 10,000 pieces and now they are complaining about a warping issue which causes assembly issues, 2nd indication testing wasn't completed (even after the first issue).

Now my problem is that both these issues were present on all of our samples from kick-off and have been approved on several separate occassions. These "issues" are in no way called out on the print (no profile to prevent warpage and the one callout for the shut-off issue passed dimensionally.

I don't think our customer has a leg to stand on as this is clearly a design related/lack of engineering knowledge issue.

My concern is that they are coming back to us with thousands of dollars in chargebacks and don't see how they can claim that the issue is our responsibility.

Please help explain if I am misunderstanding. If anyone has any advice as to how to handle this issue, I'm all ears.
Elsmar Forum Sponsor


Trusted Information Resource
I've no supportive advice at the time, just commentary to the effect that this is not an uncommon event. Insufficient signoff records from your customer leave you at risk, insufficient testing by them leaves them at risk. Been there, done that, try not to do it everywhere I go now.

Based on what they asked for I don't think the chargebacks would pass muster, but you may not retain the customer unless the relationship is sufficiently codependent as to make changing horses impractical.

Welcome to the quality management world, regret to hear your baptism by fire is so interesting.


Well I'm no expert (35 years in the quality business) but I have seen this type of thing in the past. Personal opinion? You dont have a signed approval so this will be a tough battle; if the conditions they are having issues with have been in the parts from the start and you can prove it (documentation) I would approach the customer about making the changes they want as Engineering Changes to the product.
They have quite a bit of product that was sampled ( if they have used the product) so the parts you have shipped cant be all that bad.

Just my $.02

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator

In theory you may have a contract based on your offer and your customer's acceptance of your offer.

It rather depends if your offer was to help them with their design.

In practice your customer may be taking advantage of your desire to win the order.

Let us know how it turns out.

Good luck,

Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
T PPAP - Complaint from a Tier One customer concerning Product Dimension IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 26
M Reduce occurrence rating based on the PMS data and customer complaint data ISO 14971 - Medical Device Risk Management 2
J Customer Complaint & SCAR, false data Nonconformance and Corrective Action 14
J Customer Complaint Response 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 3
S How to treat a customer complaint ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
PhilM Nonconformance report, Customer complaint investigations and RMAs ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 8
G Problem Resolution Report Monitoring - Customer complaint or PRR as general motors use Customer Complaints 12
R Does an RMA = a Customer Complaint Customer Complaints 4
G Customer complaint over a Reference Dimension Manufacturing and Related Processes 9
E Is there an Automotive Customer Complaint Index? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 3
R In a software development company: Is every bug reported by the customer a complaint? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 27
E Corrective Action or Customer Complaint ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 16
T Decontamination responsibility on customer complaint investigation Customer Complaints 4
N Possibly worlds first customer service complaint Supply Chain Security Management Systems 0
A What is a Customer Complaint? (ISO 9001:2015) ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 9
M Should Potential Customer Complaint Outcome Define Registrar NC Rating? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 8
J FDA definition of a complaint - Customer orders spare parts 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 5
P Customer Complaint Definition - Food Distributor Customer Complaints 5
R Customer Complaint - Samples vs. Removal - FDA Requirements 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 2
Moncia Customer Complaint Procedure example needed Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 1
C Medical Device Malfunction - Customer Complaint - Response vs. Correction Other US Medical Device Regulations 3
Q Customer Complaint Vs. Nonconformance - CAPA SYSTEM Customer Complaints 4
L Creating a xlsx Customer Complaint file to track Complaints Excel .xls Spreadsheet Templates and Tools 2
N Customer Complaint - Rapid Response Containment Procedure Customer Complaints 4
R Customer Complaint/Nonconforming Product Inquiry ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 4
D Can anyone share a Customer Complaint procedure not requiring logging complaints ? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 5
P Customer Complaint Preventive Action Assistance Preventive Action and Continuous Improvement 3
Q When to issue a Customer Complaint related to efficacy of a Medical Device? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 3
S Do I need to initiate a Customer Complaint for Engineering Samples? Customer Complaints 4
A Customer Complaint - Incident Reporting Hardcopy Signoff Customer Complaints 8
B Analysis & Closure of a Customer Complaint Customer Complaints 6
C Customer Feedback, Satisfaction, Complaint Procedure and Measurement Customer Complaints 8
N Closed Customer Complaint Response Form Examples? Customer Complaints 3
J Damaged Parts in Customer Returns - Complaint Investigation? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 9
D Is an NCR required in this Customer Complaint scenario? Nonconformance and Corrective Action 6
B Categorization of Customer Complaint: Making Customers feel they are Top Priority Customer Complaints 4
B Understanding the attached sample Pareto Chart for Customer Complaint Quality Tools, Improvement and Analysis 20
J Should I file a Customer Complaint as a Nonconforming Material Report or a CAP? Nonconformance and Corrective Action 5
R Help defining Eyewear Customer Complaint Categories Customer Complaints 5
K Audit NC - No evidence of a full 5 Why Analysis for the Customer Complaint Problem Solving, Root Cause Fault and Failure Analysis 8
somashekar What if a non EU customer makes a complaint to NB ? EU Medical Device Regulations 2
R Everest Customer Complaint System by Lynk Software US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 1
T Is a Nonconformance Report required for every Customer Complaint? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 18
J Who should accept the samples of Customer Complaint products ? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 3
S Data Flow diagram for a Customer Complaint System - Help wanted Customer Complaints 6
B Small Company Customer Complaint System ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 2
L Internal Audit to Focus on Customer Complaint Re-occurrences Internal Auditing 4
W Re-Evaluating Corrective Actions - Recurrence of a Customer Complaint Nonconformance and Corrective Action 7
P Customer Complaint due to unanswered telephone during audit Internal Auditing 16
B Are Parts in a Positive Recall w/o Customer Complaint considered as External PPM? Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 6

Similar threads

Top Bottom