Accidents with consumer products originate from either product defects or misuse. These two explicit causes result from aging degradation, coupled design, or in some cases from causes that are unknown. We analyzed over 600 cases of past accidents with consumer products in the Japanese market. Of the 309 cases of product defects, 51% were caused by aging degradation, and coupled design was responsible for 66% of the 296 cases of misuse. Evaluation, from the viewpoint of axiomatic design, of these coupled design caused misuse cases revealed that over half of them had coupling of the operational functional requirement in the design stage. These cases consist about 38% of the 296 misuse cases. Instead of blaming the user for misuse, if the designer carefully removes such coupling in the design stage, such accidents can be avoided. In the actual design work, changing part configurations, or adding sensors or interlocks can decouple operational functional requirements.

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