Products are recalled because they present a danger to their users. Ideally, manufacturers will take action to recall products before someone actually gets hurt. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. That means every time a product is released which subsequently turns out to be dangerous, there is a significant risk someone will be hurt or killed before the manufacturer identifies the issues and institutes a recall.
Individual consumers especially, need to be concerned about the significant dangers associated with defective products because a new report reveals the vast majority of recalled goods are household products used by individuals and families.
Household Products Make Up The Majority of Recalled Goods
Supply Chain Management indicates a new report has been released with data obtained from the Stericycle Retail Index. The report shows: “household goods account for a significant majority of all product recalls in the U.S. since 2010.” Household goods are defined to include furniture, appliances, clothing, children’s toys, and other products consumers use every day. Within this category of goods, a risk of fire was one of the primary issues prompting recalls.
Although all household goods present risks, products targeted towards infants and children are especially likely to experience issues necessitating recall. Around 12 percent of total recall events since 2010 involved children’s items and more than half of all clothing products that have been recalled over the past five years was clothing designed for kids. Children’s clothing often must be recalled when it turns out drawstrings create strangulation or choking hazards. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a rule warning drawstrings are dangerous features on kid’s clothing, but this ruling didn’t come until 2011, so earlier clothes items may still present dangers to kids.
There are many reasons why household goods tend to have higher recall rates and are more likely to be defective products. One issue is household goods regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) generally are used for a longer period of time by consumers than other types of products are. The lengthy shelf-life of household goods contributes to more recalls because older products are more likely than newer products to overheat and cause fires.
Unfortunately, when a product is recalled that is 10 years old or older, the recall process becomes much more complex and difficult. More resources are required to identify product owners, to reach out to them, and to alert them to the need to stop using their products and either get them repaired or replaced. Companies should have a recall plan in place before problems happen, but should ensure they engage in extensive pre-release testing of products so they don’t end up needing to do a recall years after items are sold.
Advances in technology in consumer products have also helped to increase recalls of household products. While technologies can help keep people safer by allowing for early warning systems, added bells and whistles on products mean there are more potential things that could go wrong. Manufacturers must ensure any new tech features added to devices enhance, rather than take away from, the safety and functionality of the item being sold.
If you are the victim of Massachusetts product liability, call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.
Johnson & Johnson’s Defective Hip Implants Cause Worldwide Problems, June 15, 2014, Boston Products Liability Attorneys Blog