There are just over 400 products recalled in the UK every year and yet only a fraction of those products that have already been sold on to consumers are actually returned, which is pretty worrying, considering that the primary reason behind a Product Recall, is if the product in question poses a potential risk to its owner.
This is probably because in many cases, the product in question works as advertised and we simply don’t consider that it could be unsafe. Unfortunately, whilst a product can be recalled from shelves, it cannot be recalled from homes, so even if a product we own is potentially dangerous, it would appear few of us ever hear about it, even though the law states that a manufacturer must make a concerted effort to make purchasers of the product aware of the risks.
As such, here we’ve included a few steps you might want to take to ensure you actually have a chance of hearing about a product recall, should it take place:-
- Even if you only have a minor concern about the safety of a product you’ve purchased, it takes very little effort to check the manufacturer’s website. If nothing is listed there, you can contact your local trading standards either via phone or online and ask if a product recall has been issued.
- Websites exist that let consumers search for the most recently issued product recalls. Sites such the Electrical Safety Council and Recall UK, will allow you to search product recalls by product type and date.
- If your product happens to be a car or other motor vehicle, you can visit the VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) website and search for it there.
- If your product needs to be returned, you don’t have to destroy it yourself. There is a regulations act signed back in 2005, which dictates that if a product has been recalled, the manufacturers must make arrangements for the collection and destruction of the product from consumers who have reported it.
- Whenever you buy any appliance, make sure to register your details with the company so they know where and how to contact you if there is a problem with your product. These days, you should be able to do so quite easily online.
The Worst Product Recalls of All Time!
Of course, whilst getting a product recalled can be disastrous for any company, big or small, some cases are significantly worse than others. Here we’ve found 5 cases that even the most skilled Field Marketing Service company would probably fail to rectify.
Toyota hit the brakes!
In January 2010, the largest car manufacturer in the world issued a monumental recall on 4.1 million cars sold in Europe and North America sold with faulty gas pedals. These pedals had a tendency to get stuck, which could have resulted in some very serious road accidents. This wasn’t an isolated case either, as in that period, Toyota issued a recall of over 9 million cars worldwide due to pedal issues!
China’s Deadly Formula
700 tonnes of baby formula (an alternative to milk for infants) were recalled back in 2008 in China, when it was reported that a chemical used in the formula had resulted in the death of six children and the development of serious kidney problems in as many as 50 others. It was later discovered that the manufacturers had been adding the Melamine chemical to the formula to cut corners and the were sentenced to death, while the head of the company was sentenced to life in prison and fined £2 million!
Pain Killer Tragedy
In 1982, seven Chicago residents died after taking pain killers (in this case Tylenol) that had been laced with cyanide! This is a recall that goes beyond incompetency and into legitimate, calculated crime. A crime which has (to this day) never been solved.
Where’s the Beef?
Also in 2008, only on the other side of the world (once again in the US), approximately 143 million pounds of beef were recalled after it was found that a slaughterhouse in California had been butchering sick cattle to cut costs. Worryingly, most of the tainted meat had already been sold by the time the recall was issued, but remarkably there have thus far been no serious illnesses ever reported as a result of the scandal. Though there were probably more than a few dark nights (and mornings) spent on the toilet.
Baby Sling of Death
Over a million baby slings from the Infantino brand were recalled in 2010 in the US after they were linked to the death of three babies. This case is especially relevant, because the company were issued with a warning two weeks before the recall was issued claiming that the product carried a suffocation risk for infants under the age of 4 months. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) investigated at least 14 deaths in the case.