Relations between suppliers and Japanese automakers tend to be smooth because both sides have a clear understanding of the other's expectations and responsibilities.
The Chrysler group is helping itself and its suppliers by taking a step in the same direction. A new contract format, which spells out vendors' liability if their parts fail, was masterminded by a Chrysler executive steeped in the ways of Toyota.
General Motors and Ford Motor Co. and should make similar moves a priority.
Automaker-supplier relationships will never be a love feast. But changes that reduce haggling over warranty and recall costs - and put more effort into robust designs - make the participants stronger and give dealers better products to sell.