Explosions in the railway signal electrical power supply


A French company manufactured (using subcontractors) electrical power supply equipment for railway signals in France and abroad.

After several of these supply units exploded in the field, the manufacturer determined that the explosions were caused by a very specific electrical component in the supply equipment (a condenser, supplied by a distributor). Thanks to internal traceability, the manufacturer identified a batch of about 300 products around the world. A recall and exchange process was then launched.


The GM Consultant loss adjusters were tasked with determining the origin of the defect in the condensers, lodging the appeals, and calculating the damage.

The loss adjusters asked an independent laboratory to carry out a physico-chemical analysis of a product from the defective batch and of a product reportedly in good working condition. The laboratory determined and demonstrated that the defective products had not been made in the same way as the others, raising the possibility of counterfeit.

Based on traceability information from third parties, it was possible to establish the final total for the damage.

The total damage and the cause of the loss were not contested by the third parties implicated in the case (subcontractor and distributor).