The liability of suppliers of raw materials and component parts for harm caused by the product into which the materials have been incorporated poses difficult questions. When the raw material or component part is clearly defective, there is no question that the supplier is liable. Thus, where an ingredient in processed food is contaminated or where a truck tire has a flaw that causes a blowout, the supplier of the ingredient or the tire is liable. The difficult questions arise where the components are not inherently defective, but the finished product is defective because it lacks a safety feature or a warning to the ultimate user. Under what circumstances should the supplier of a raw material or component part be liable for failure to provide the safety feature, failure to provide the warning to the consumer, or failure to provide a warning to the assembler of the finished product of the necessity for the safety feature or the consumer warning?
David A. Fischer, Product Liability: A Commentary on the Liability of Suppliers of Component Parts and Raw Materials, 53 S.C. L. Rev. 1137 (2002)