SEC Filings


10-K
CUMMINS INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/11/2019
Entire Document
 

NOTE 13. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
We are subject to numerous lawsuits and claims arising out of the ordinary course of our business, including actions related to product liability; personal injury; the use and performance of our products; warranty matters; product recalls; patent, trademark or other intellectual property infringement; contractual liability; the conduct of our business; tax reporting in foreign jurisdictions; distributor termination; workplace safety; and environmental matters. We also have been identified as a potentially responsible party at multiple waste disposal sites under U.S. federal and related state environmental statutes and regulations and may have joint and several liability for any investigation and remediation costs incurred with respect to such sites. We have denied liability with respect to many of these lawsuits, claims and proceedings and are vigorously defending such lawsuits, claims and proceedings. We carry various forms of commercial, property and casualty, product liability and other forms of insurance; however, such insurance may not be applicable or adequate to cover the costs associated with a judgment against us with respect to these lawsuits, claims and proceedings. We do not believe that these lawsuits are material individually or in the aggregate. While we believe we have also established adequate accruals pursuant to GAAP for our expected future liability with respect to pending lawsuits, claims and proceedings, where the nature and extent of any such liability can be reasonably estimated based upon then presently available information, there can be no assurance that the final resolution of any existing or future lawsuits, claims or proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
We conduct significant business operations in Brazil that are subject to the Brazilian federal, state and local labor, social security, tax and customs laws. While we believe we comply with such laws, they are complex, subject to varying interpretations and we are often engaged in litigation regarding the application of these laws to particular circumstances.
Guarantees and Commitments
Periodically, we enter into guarantee arrangements, including guarantees of non-U.S. distributor financings, residual value guarantees on equipment under operating leases and other miscellaneous guarantees of joint ventures or third-party obligations. At December 31, 2018, the maximum potential loss related to these guarantees was $52 million.
We have arrangements with certain suppliers that require us to purchase minimum volumes or be subject to monetary penalties. At December 31, 2018, if we were to stop purchasing from each of these suppliers, the aggregate amount of the penalty would be approximately $65 million. Most of these arrangements enable us to secure critical components. We do not currently anticipate paying any penalties under these contracts.
We enter into physical forward contracts with suppliers of platinum and palladium to purchase certain volumes of the commodities at contractually stated prices for various periods, which generally fall within two years. At December 31, 2018, the total commitments under these contracts were $70 million. These arrangements enable us to fix the prices of these commodities, which otherwise are subject to market volatility.
We have guarantees with certain customers that require us to satisfactorily honor contractual or regulatory obligations, or compensate for monetary losses related to nonperformance. These performance bonds and other performance-related guarantees were $110 million at December 31, 2018.
Indemnifications
Periodically, we enter into various contractual arrangements where we agree to indemnify a third-party against certain types of losses. Common types of indemnities include:
product liability and license, patent or trademark indemnifications;
asset sale agreements where we agree to indemnify the purchaser against future environmental exposures related to the asset sold; and
any contractual agreement where we agree to indemnify the counterparty for losses suffered as a result of a misrepresentation in the contract.
We regularly evaluate the probability of having to incur costs associated with these indemnities and accrue for expected losses that are probable. Because the indemnifications are not related to specified known liabilities and due to their uncertain nature, we are unable to estimate the maximum amount of the potential loss associated with these indemnifications.

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