When Do Defective Products Get Recalled?

Defective products and recalls are not synonymous terms: the former is often the result of an absent or ineffective recall; the latter is a process initiated by a manufacturer when a product poses a public safety risk.

Below, the personal injury lawyers from Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson explore the differences between product recalls and defective products, how to avoid dangerous products, and what to do if a defective product causes injury.

Product Recall vs. Defective Product

A product recall is a request from a manufacturer to return a product after a safety risk or product defect has been discovered.

Recalls are used to ensure public safety and to reduce the risk of legal action against the product seller or maker.

Product recalls articulate a clear and distinct danger, whereas product defects don’t always pose a public threat.

For example, software patches are used frequently to fix defects in popular phones and tablets. However, these defects pose no risk to public safety. Therefore, a defect may not require the recall of a product.

Government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provide oversight and encourage recalls when a manufacturer isn’t aware of a problem.

Once a safety risk has been identified, the recall process begins.

How Does a Recall Work?

A recall is typically a voluntary process initiated by the manufacture, but often encouraged by a government agency.

A recall involves informing the public and removing the product from retail. A recalled product can’t be sold lawfully, and manufactures must remedy previous purchases with refunds, exchanges, or repairs.

The media is commonly used to distribute information about dangerous recalls. However, not every recall makes it into the news.

Fortunately, recalls are tracked online by various agencies and organizations:

The Louisiana Department of Health is another way to stay informed about local recalls and other dangers that affect our communities.

The best way to avoid defective products is to stay informed. Never purchase a product that’s been recalled, and check databases for updates on important consumer protection information.

Defective Product Injuries

People injured by a defective product may be eligible for compensation under product liability laws. Product liability claims help victims recover damages for things like medical bills and lost income.

Viable product liability cases typically include one of three defect categories:

  • Design defect – when the injury was caused by a flaw in the product’s design
  • Manufacturing defect – when the product suffers a manufacturing error like a missing part
  • Labeling defect – when the product failed to clearly mark warnings associated with normal use of the product

However, a product recall isn’t necessarily proof that a product manufacturer is liable; but a recall doesn’t necessarily alleviate them of fault, either.

When lots of people are injured by a product, claims are often rolled into a mass tort action or class action lawsuit.

Product liability laws are complex and require the expertise of an experienced attorney. If you have questions about a product-related injury, call our Louisiana injury lawyers at 377-240-9349, or contact us online.

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