With the billions of items produced every year, every now and then, a defective, unsafe or poorly designed product makes its way to the public, and the manufacturer must issue a recall. It’s important to know when a product in your home, car or refrigerator has been recalled and also what to do when you find out you’ve purchased a recalled product.
When a product is recalled because of a fault, your rights to get a refund or a replacement depends on whether the fault makes the product unsafe. When it doesn’t and the fault can be easily repaired, you’re entitled to a prompt repair with all costs covered.
When fault makes goods unsafe, you have the right to reject the goods and claim a replacement or a refund from the retailer (not the manufacturer). Often, the manufacturer will provide instructions to both consumers and to the retailers that carry the product.
This is the most critical type of recall. In some cases, recalled products such as car seats and cribs have caused fatalities. The most important action to take is to stop using the item right away. Once a recall is initiated, the Consumer Product Safety Commission will issue a press release on its website. You can even sign up for email alerts about recalls at cpsc.gov.
This is another critical one. Here’s what to do if you’ve bought food that has been recalled:
- Don’t panic! Most food recalls are not associated with a food illness outbreak, and often, food manufacturers issue a recall as a precautionary measure.
- Don’t eat the food. Even though the food product may be recalled as a precaution, do not eat it! Don’t give the food to other people and don’t feed it to your pets.
- Don’t open the food. Resist the urge to check it. You can’t really see or smell bacteria or viruses, anyway. If you do open the product, wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after handling it.
- Check the recall notice to find out what to do with the food. When a manufacturer recalls a food product, they provide instructions on what to do with the product, which typically includes returning the product to the store or disposing of the product properly so that other people or animals cannot eat it (especially if you opened it).
If you or a family member has been affected by a recalled product, you may be entitled to legal relief. Talk to an attorney today to discuss your case.