When you purchase a product, you rightfully expect the product to work as advertised and to be safe when used properly. There are hundreds of regulations to enforce this expectation.
Despite all these regulations, however, some products still end up being unsafe. When either the manufacturer or the appropriate government regulatory body becomes aware of a defective product, it may be recalled.
But what does recall mean exactly? It is important to understand more about product recalls and what you should do if you were harmed by a recalled product in Texas.
Understanding the Concept of Product Recalls
When a product is recalled, it has officially been deemed unsafe for normal use. A recall is a public statement by the government that informs consumers of what product is compromised and how people with the product can get reimbursed for their purchase.
A product recall is typically instituted in one of two ways. First, the manufacturer can voluntarily recall the product after learning about a defect. When this happens, the manufacturer notifies the appropriate government body, and that agency then announces the recall.
Alternatively, if the manufacturer refuses to issue a voluntary product recall, the appropriate government body can order a recall. This forces the manufacturer to reimburse people who purchased the product.
Either way, the recall is usually announced on the government’s main recall website. It may also be announced online by specific agencies, such as the FDA, when applicable. Additionally, the manufacturer must make a good-faith effort to contact individuals through phone calls, email, or traditional mail.
Reasons Behind Product Recalls: Safety Concerns and Defects
Recalls generally occur when there is either a flaw in the manufacturing process or a design defect. For example, if a product is manufactured with a faulty circuit that can overheat and cause fires, it would be recalled after the manufacturer determined that the flaw existed.
The basic idea is that a product should be safe for use when used as intended. This means, for example, that a cleaning product would not be recalled if someone died due to drinking it.
In this scenario, the product clearly has a warning that it is not to be ingested, which means the person used it improperly. But if that warning wasn’t present, then the product would be recalled.
Examples of Notable Product Recalls
Product recalls happen all the time. The recalls are often relatively small, affecting just a handful of products, possibly in a specific market or from a specific manufacturing batch.
However, some product recalls have been on a massive scale, both in scope and in the harm caused by the dangerous products. The following are some of the most notable past product recalls.
Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Oven
During the Christmas season of 2006, Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Oven was one of the most popular toys on the market. It was sold at every major toy retailer, and parents often had to search multiple stores to find one.
This made it all the more devastating when nearly a million units were recalled in 2007. Due to design flaws, the product burned at least 77 children and even resulted in one child having a partially amputated finger.
Toyota’s Faulty Gas Pedals
The 2009 Toyota recall due to faulty gas pedals was one of the largest recalls ever. By the time it was completed, over 9 million cars were recalled because of an issue with gas pedals becoming stuck. This meant that drivers were unable to stop their cars, except by using the emergency brake.
Legal Rights of Consumers in Recall Situations
But exactly what does recall mean for you as a consumer? Primarily, it means that you should stop using the product immediately and contact the manufacturer to get either a replacement or reimbursement.
However, it also means you might have legal options if you were harmed by the product. Even if you don’t yet know if a recall exists, you should contact defective product lawyers if you are hurt by a product. They can determine whether a recall exists and what your legal options are for getting compensation.
Is There a Way to Report a Defective Product?
Yes. You can report defects to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Typically, reporting a defect will be part of your legal strategy. It can be wise to consult with an experienced product liability lawyer before making your report.
How Do I Get Compensation From a Product Recall Case?
Your defective product attorney will investigate your case to determine who was responsible for the harm you suffered. While it is commonly the manufacturer, it could also be the fault of the distributor or the seller.
Once this evidence has been gathered, your lawyer will present it to the responsible party and their counsel. In most cases, the liable party will negotiate a settlement to pay for the harm it caused, and you will get paid without the need for a trial.
Turn to a Texas Product Liability Attorney at Dunn Sheehan
Injuries from dangerous products can be serious and life-altering. Government regulations serve to protect consumers from unsafe products and provide ways for people who are hurt by such products to recover compensation.
If you or a loved one was harmed by a defective product, it is vital to seek guidance from a qualified product liability attorney. At Dunn Sheehan, our Dallas catastrophic product injury team consistently provides efficient and unmatched service to every client. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more today.