Defect (quality)

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The quality deficiency in the economy is the negative deviation of the product quality or service quality from the market standard .


The Old High German verb mangolōn was understood in the year 863 as “lack, dispense”. A thing did not have the standard of quality that was generally attributed to it or that anyone could expect of it. Their usefulness must have been compromised.


According to the text of the ISO 9000 standard , a defect always occurs when a device (more precisely: a work result ) is not fully suitable for its intended purpose. It is irrelevant whether the missing performance features have been documented in the form of a request or not. Unlike the term "shortage" ISO 9000 uses the term error that indicates the non-fulfillment of a requirement. Quality is therefore the actual condition compared to the quality requirement. Defective goods or services are not suitable for the use required by the sales contract or do not have the quality that is usual for items of the same type and that the buyer can expect depending on the type of item.

Defects that occur in everyday life can be diverse, they range from limited functionality in products to a lack of travel in services .

Legal issues

Defects, according to § 434 para. 1 BGB quality defects ( bad performance , latin peius ), quantity problems ( lot of mistakes , Latin minus ) or wrong delivery ( Latin aliud be). The aliud is not conceptually a material defect, but is legally treated like this. The sales law does not speak of a quality defect , but of the condition (translation from Latin qualitas ) of the object of purchase. This means the actual condition. This includes the properties inherent in the item such as age (new or used), size ( dimensions ), weight , durability , wear and tear or material of manufacture . If there is a lack of the guaranteed or usual quality, there is a defect.

Also mounting defects or inadequate installation instructions (§ 434 para. 2 BGB) are quality defects. Packaging defects are only quality defects if the packaging has an impact on the preservation of the goods (for example with vacuum packaging ). The term “quality deficiency” applies not only to sales law, but also to long-term obligations such as rent , loan , lease or leasing .

A deficient delivery of goods is according to § 377 , para. 1 HGB in commercial purchase before, if the purchased item has a quality defect. According to Section 360 of the German Commercial Code (HGB), average goods ("medium-sized goods and goods") are due.

economic aspects

This toilet paper has a manufacturing defect, but it may still be suitable for ordinary use.

Defective products or services are always the result of a defective production , the failure costs caused. Production errors occur when personnel and / or work equipment do not follow the quality requirements specified in work instructions or service instructions . The result are errors that affect the products / services. The in-house error costs ( rework , repair ) are incurred before delivery to the customer and are intended to help restore the quality standards of the products or services and make them ready for the market . The external error costs ( guarantee , goodwill , producer liability , complaint , return or recall campaign ), on the other hand, only arise after delivery to the customer.

In the case of defective products / services, the price calculated for the quality standard is too high, there is objectively a quality-related, unfavorable price-performance ratio . This reduces the customer benefit or it disappears completely. This is not acceptable for the buyer - also with regard to the lower or non-existent utility value - so that he can demand a reduction in the purchase price , withdrawal or compensation in order to achieve the normal price-performance ratio.

Quality management

In a quality- oriented process organization , quality management is implemented, which defines quality management standards and thereby determines the quality standard that the company should leave. It should be prevented by preventive measures that quality defects are only the customers notice and thereby customer satisfaction interfere and the reputational damage of the company. For quality costs causing quality management include quality planning , quality control , quality control and quality assurance . The latter is integrated into the production process and wants to sell products / services that meet customer expectations with the help of the Quality Function Deployment . It is carried out in production at important process steps in order to eliminate possible sources of error and uncover any weak points .

Web links

Wiktionary: Deficiency  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Gerhard Köbler : Etymological legal dictionary. 1995, p. 260 f.
  2. Hans-Dieter Zollondz (Ed.): Lexicon quality management. 2001, p. 801.
  3. ^ Christian Zwarg: The claim for supplementary performance in the BGB from the point of view of a sensible buyer. 2010, p. 106.
  4. ^ Otto Palandt / Walter Weidenkaff: BGB comment . 73rd edition, 2014, § 434 Rn. 9.
  5. ^ Jochem Piontek: Controlling. 2005, p. 191 f.
  6. ^ Fritz Neske / Markus Wiener (ed.): Management Lexicon. Volume IV, 1985, p. 1234 ff.