In my language we have a slang word for a small part of the whole that is not very significant for the functionality of the whole but which breaks easily and in such case renders the whole useless.

Manufacturers are often suspected of including such a part intentionally to shorten the lifespan of a product after the guarantee expires. Is there such word in English?

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    Such small part is the "Achilles 'heel" of the system. But, this expression don't specifically refer to planned obsolescence. – Graffito Sep 16 '16 at 13:09
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    If the whole depends on it then it's not "unimportant". – Hot Licks Sep 16 '16 at 13:24
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    What is the word in your language? – browly Sep 16 '16 at 13:36
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    Related but not synonymous is 'planned obsolescence'. – Mitch Sep 16 '16 at 13:46
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    Planned obsolescence refers to the whole product, and the planned failure can take different forms. In this case, the OP is talking about the weak link that initiates breakdown and thus obsolescence. – Drew Sep 16 '16 at 15:21

Intentional flaws (or variations of the phrase) can be seen used by many articles online.

There's also a related one called Persian flawWikia

A Persian flaw, was a flaw intentionally introduced by Persian artisans of Earth to signify that man was inherently flawed. The expression "Persian flaw" might also be used figuratively.

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  • I really like the Persian flaw term. It's however very positive, a sign of humility instead of incompetence. But I think it's as close as we I can get, thanks. – calavera.info Sep 19 '16 at 12:05

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