The California Supreme Court recently handed down a long awaited decision in the case of O'Neil v Crane Co. (2012) 53 Cal.4th 335. The case dealt with the liability of a valve manufacturer for asbestos containing gaskets and packing that were used in conjunction with a Crane Co. valve.
The plaintiff in the case never encountered the original asbestos containing products in the valve, he claimed that he was exposed to the "replacement" gaskets and packing used in the valve, which also contained asbestos. The difference was, the replacement parts weren't made or supplied by Crane Co. The Supreme Court looked at this issue and determined that Crane Co. had no liability for the replacement parts that were used in it valves-even though the plaintiff claimed it was foreseeable that this type of part would be used with the valve.
Fast forward to a dealership: Even though the car you sold was designed to operate with a specific type of part, if a similar replacement part sold by someone else causes an injury to the consumer, under the facts of O'Neil it is doubtful a claim could be stated against you. Bottom line, in most instances, to be liable, it has to be your part.