Product recalls occur when a manufacturer, government entity, or consumer watchdog group discovers a defect or potential defect in a product or food, leading to a request that consumers return the product (or sometimes, in the case of food, discard it). Depending on the item being recalled, consumers may receive a refund, replacement, or repair. The Consumer Public Safety Commission (CPSC) is one of the regulatory bodies that oversee product safety, but it is not the only one. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also regulate safety standards for food and pharmaceutical products.
Automobile and auto parts recalls
One of the biggest recalls in recent years was the 2019-2020 recall of Takata airbags, which were discovered to be at risk of explosion when exposed to high heat and humidity. This is a very scary and dangerous malfunction!
But recalls are happening all the time. Just some of the October 2021 auto recalls include Porsche hazard lights; Mercedes-Benz S-class model airbags; GM heavy-duty truck brake pressure modulator valve; Ford Ranger Super Cab faulty child restraint anchorage system; 2021 Ford Bronco faulty airbags; 2022 Odyssey Minivan tire leakage; Volvo airbags; Hyundai Sonata faulty turn signal; Mazda RX-8 fire concerns. That is just one partial month of auto manufacturing recalls.
This list shows the importance of checking monthly for any recalls affecting your family cars. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website at nhtsa.gov/vehicle and search by your VIN to see if there are any recalls associated with your car.
Food and drug recalls
Food recalls take place when there is reason to believe the food has been contaminated. The most common contaminants are bacteria such as e. Coli and salmonella or parasites such as cyclospora. Foreign matter contaminants are also common. These various contaminations can be quite serious, even deadly.
The FDA website lists many pharmaceutical products that have been recalled in recent months. Recent recalls on the USDA website show a recall of pork products because they missed an import inspection and Butterball turkey products that may be contaminated with foreign matter, including blue plastic. This is quite disturbing. And nowadays, with so many food allergies, many packaged foods are being recalled for undeclared allergens, such as milk or nuts.
Toy and appliance recalls
In recent years, a number of toys made in China for Mattel and Fisher-Price were recalled due to the presence of lead paint. Many children’s clothing items are recalled because they fail to meet inflammability standards. Strollers and car seats are often closely scrutinized and occasionally recalled, such as the Joovy Zoom 360 stroller in October 2021.
The CPSC also reports recalls of off-road vehicles, snorkeling equipment, safety equipment such as bicycle helmets, furniture such as stools and shower seats, and tools, including a recent recall of Harbor Freight’s propane portable heater due to fire hazard.
If you’ve been seriously injured by a product, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer, supplier, seller, or other responsible entity. As in any personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to demonstrate four things:
- The person or business in question owed you a duty of care
- The person or business was negligent in that duty
- You suffered injury or damage that was caused by the breach of duty
- The injury or damage can be demonstrated legally
Every manufacturer owes a duty of care to the purchasers of their products and to anyone else who might be impacted by their use. In some cases, a malfunctioning or recalled product may not hurt the user but may hurt someone else – for instance, if the brakes on a truck fail, causing an accident that harms others but not the driver of the truck.
When a recall is involved, it is likely that negligence can be demonstrated. A manufacturer could argue that the consumer received notice of the recall, warning of the defects. The manufacturer could also argue that the injury was not initially caused by the product nor did it exacerbate an existing condition.
Because big companies have experienced lawyers who fight against product liability lawsuits on a regular basis, they usually win or manage to offer minimal settlements when consumers go up against them unprepared. That’s why it’s so important that you have an experienced product liability attorney by your side. As an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer, I have a reputation for winning substantial awards for clients, knowing and countering big company lawyers’ arguments before they even make them. I know how they think, and I am willing to take your case to court if they do not offer a reasonable compensation settlement. Give me a call for a no-cost consultation to see how I can help you.