May 17, 2024

Your Product Was Recalled? Here’s What You Need to Do.

Desk with a keyboard, green notepad, pen, and a card displaying the text 'PRODUCT RECALL,' with a potted plant in the top left corner.

Have you ever bought a product online or in-store, only to hear that the company or manufacturer has issued a safety warning due to a malfunctioning or poorly designed feature? Or maybe you’ve gone grocery shopping and later turned on the news to find there has been a salmonella outbreak, and retailers are asking you to return or discard your favorite foods. If any of these scenarios ring a bell, then you’ve probably experienced the beginnings of what is known as a “recall” process. 

But what exactly is a recall, and if you haven't received notice in the mail or heard about it on the news, how do you know what products in your home are recalled? Or if you have received a notice in the mail, then how should you go about safely returning or discarding the hazardous product? These questions are completely valid, and to help bring you a little more clarity behind it all, we've gone ahead and broken down everything you need to know about product recalls.

 

What Is a Recall, and Where Can You Find More Information?

A recall has multiple meanings; however, we’d like to focus on the one that may directly affect you at home, in your car, or when you’re at the grocery store. In this case, a “recall” refers to a public call to return a product that is either defective or contaminated and can risk the safety of those who use or are even in the surrounding area of the product. 

 

Commonly Recalled Products

Each year, hundreds, if not thousands, of products worldwide are recalled for various safety reasons. Below, we've listed some of the most commonly recalled products in the United States in the last ten years.

- Vehicles: Vehicle recalls often pertain to certain aspects of the vehicle that render it unsafe to operate. Some of the most recent recalls include the Takata and ARC airbag inflators, the Chrysler 2018-2023 Jeep Wrangler and 2020-2023 Jeep Gladiators clutch pressure plates, and the Tesla 2024 Cybertruck accelerator pedals. 

- Infant sleep products: According to the National Institute of Health, in the United States, 3500 infants are injured or killed due to sleep-related issues each year. Some of the recently recalled infant sleep products include the Crate and Barrel Hampshire Cribs, Sant and Abel children’s sleepwear, Brandline HEAO 4-in-1 High Chairs, Zazaba’s Grão de Gente Baby Nests, and the Jool Baby’s Nova infant swings.

- Kitchen gadgets and appliances: Some recently recalled kitchen gadgets include air fryers like the Insignia Air Fryers, Insignia Air Fryer Ovens, COSORI Air Fryers, and ​​Empower Brands’ Power XL Dual Basket Air Fryers. Stoves, such as the ZLINE gas range, Frigidaire and Kenmore Smooth-top Freestanding Electric Ranges, and refrigerators like the Electrolux Group side-by-side refrigerators and the True Manufacturing commercial refrigerators.

- Food: Every year, thousands of food products are recalled off the shelves for a multitude of reasons. However, in 2022, the FDA reported a 700.6% increase in the number of units impacted, with 416.9 million units of food recalled. Some of the most recent food-related recalls include Great Value Organic Black Chia Seeds, Tropicale Foods Helados, and Wenders LLC Trader Joe's Nuts. 

 

Recalled products do not end with vehicles or home items. Companies will often recall pharmaceutical or drug products such as herbal dietary supplements, pain medications, topical creams, cold medicines, allergy medicines, and more. Pharmaceutical or drug products are often recalled at the request of the FDA. However, the company behind the drug can also willingly request a recall should they suspect an error has occurred during the creation, manufacturing, or distribution process.

There are times when a product we have purchased or come into possession of may be recalled without our knowledge. This may be due to the product being an older model that has since been discontinued, or if you have purchased it second-hand, you may not have received the notice originally sent from the company. If you suspect your item may be recalled, depending on the type of product, you may be able to find it listed on one or more of the following sources:

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): An independent agency of the United States government that seeks to promote the safety of consumer products by addressing "unreasonable risks" of injury, developing uniform safety standards, and conducting research into product-related illness and injury.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): An agency of the U.S. federal government, part of the Department of Transportation. The NHTSA focuses on transportation safety in the United States by enforcing vehicle performance standards and partnerships with state and local governments.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA): An agency of the United States government that is responsible for protecting public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

The Product Manufacturer Website: Companies that have designed, manufactured, or distributed defective or recalled products often provide consumers with instructions on how to contact the company to initiate the recall. Most commonly, the company or the third-party manufacturer or distributor will provide access to a recall hotline, email, website, or mail paper forms. 

When searching for an item on one of the web sources listed above, you’ll want to ensure you have the following product information to match your item to the recalled listing best:

  • SKU number
  • Model number
  • Product name
  • Company name
  • Purchase date
  • Manufacturing date & location

Most of the information listed above can be found on the item itself. Typically, a company will dedicate an area directly on the item, either on the back or the side, in the form of an etching or sticker to display the product name, SKU, model number, manufacturing date, and more. If you are unable to locate the informational sticker or area on the item, we recommend you contact the company directly to learn more about the item in question.

 

Filing a Claim for a Recalled Product

If you have received a notification letter from the company that has designed, manufactured, or delivered the recalled product, you may already have clear instructions on how you should report the item, or if the product is non-returnable, how to dispose of it properly. Most companies, in response to the recall, will have set up a hotline, email, website, or mail in paper form in order for you to initiate the return, repair, or disposal of the recalled item. 

Alternatively, if the company has yet to issue a recall, you may be able to find more information about the recall itself and instructions on how to process your claim on the CPS, NHTSA, or FDA websites. In some cases, certain items may have yet to be officially recalled by their manufacturers. This delay may be due to a multitude of reasons, some of which include ongoing internal company investigations or lack of evidence behind the hazards associated with the item. 

In certain instances, the company may choose not to recall the item due to its beliefs that the data behind external investigations are false. Whatever the reason, you, as a consumer, have the right to learn more about why the product has been recalled or why the company has yet to comply with the recall demands, as this may negatively impact you and your loved ones. If you find there has yet to be an official recall of your product or a reported product listing on the CPS, NHTSA, or FDA websites, you can still file a complaint or report an injury against the item. 

Customers are also eligible to file a lawsuit against the company should they or their loved ones suffer a severe or even life-threatening injury. For more information on how you can file a lawsuit against a company after you’ve suffered an injury, contact a Morgan & Morgan attorney today to receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation. For over 35 years, our law firm has helped thousands of clients get the justice they deserve after they’ve suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to a recalled product, and we want to help you, too. 

If you have suffered an injury due to a recalled product, connect with one of our attorneys today.