What to Do If a Product You Use Has Just Been Recalled
As a consumer, you place your trust in manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to ensure that the products you purchase are safe for use. Unfortunately, not every product is actually safe for consumption. In fact, product recalls are quite common in New Jersey and elsewhere in the United States. Every year, consumers are seriously injured, and even killed, as a result of dangerous products.
Whether it’s a car with faulty air bags, a food item with mislabeled ingredients, or a personal electronic device that is prone to explosions, there have been a number of major product recalls in recent years. You deserve to feel safe and secure when you use a product that you purchased. If you have received notice that a product you bought was recalled, you need to know what actions to take.
CPSC: Overseeing Mandatory Recalls and Voluntary Recalls of Dangerous Products
US businesses have a legal obligation to sell products that do not expose consumers to significant risk of injury. When a product is found to be unsafe, companies are often required to issue a product recall so that the dangerous products are removed from stores. The company must send proper notice of the recall to consumers, typically through a public announcement or through direct communication with those who purchased the product.
In the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products by evaluating products that have generated consumer complaints and coordinating recalls of products deemed unsafe for use or consumption. Sometimes, the CPSC determines that a dangerous product should be recalled and issues a mandatory recall, which means that the company or business selling the product must notify consumers and take the product off shelves and/or remove it from online retailer websites. In other instances, the CPSC merely provides assistance with a voluntary recall.
If the CPSC orders a mandatory product recall, the agency will issue a press release and post details about the recall on the CPSC website. The official recall notice will have instructions on what to do next.
What Are Your Obligations When a Product Has Been Recalled?
Although US businesses have legal obligations to sell products that are safe for use, keep in mind that you have certain legal obligations as well when it comes to recalled items. For instance, once a product recall has been issued, you need to act as soon as possible to get the dangerous product replaced or repaired. If you continue to use the product after receiving notice of the recall, you may not be able to successfully file a product liability lawsuit in the event of an injury.
Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself when a product that you use has been recalled:
- Act immediately. A CPSC spokesperson said that “knowing about and responding to product recalls can be a lifesaver.” When a product has been recalled, you need to make sure that you are aware of the recall and you need to comply with the requirements of the recall. Take action as soon as you learn about the product recall. Contact the company and make arrangements to return the item.
- Use the product safely. Sometimes, a product recall is delayed for certain areas of the country. This can happen when the recall is so massive that the company doesn’t have the resources needed to repair all of the dangerous items at once. In these cases, you should avoid using the product or at least make sure to use the product in as safe a manner as possible until it can be replaced or repaired.
- Do a little research about your product. Product information, and information about recalls, can be found online. Do not simply assume that your product is safe just because it was sold in a store. Protect yourself, and protect your family, by making sure that the item is not already subject to a recall.
If you or someone you know suffered an injury due to use of a defective product, you should speak with a qualified personal injury and product liability attorney immediately. Richard Stoloff is an experienced, aggressive personal injury lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Mr. Stoloff today to schedule a free initial consultation.