Have you ever found yourself reading about a recalled item and discovered the recall may apply to you? If so, you may ask how you can find out more information, or be alerted to other recalls. Here are some ways to stay up to date on recalled items, and what you can do if you find yourself the victim of an accident due to a recalled product.
Vehicle and equipment recalls find themselves in the news occasionally, alerting consumers to contact the manufacturer for a safety check when an item fits the specifications of a recall. However, several recalls are not made known to the public other than through a company’s website or through a site like the one offered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These sites are only as valuable as long as they are visited on a regular basis. However, some sites make it easy to subscribe to alerts through an RSS feed on the site, or through an email alert system. Through their movement against recalls, the CPSC makes it their mission to educate the public on ways to prevent an injury from ever occurring in the first place through their guidelines and mandates of equipment, appliances, toys and clothing. But, even they can’t reach everyone.
Although time consuming, checking for recalled items is a good practice, particularly at the start of a new year when many homeowners take inventory of old and new. Typically, as mentioned above for vehicle recalls, the manufacturers will alert a consumer through the email. Other recalls, however, are less publicized, and those very recalled products may hold their places in our home. Media covers tragedies resulting from an accident due to a recalled item, yet these stories are not always in the forefront for uneventful news of non-fatal or non-life-threatening recalls.
Recalls are routine in the auto industry, a positive move on the part of the auto manufacturers as it shows they are being proactive in taking care of an issue once it’s spotted. From something very minor like a lock that doesn’t engage properly, to something more serious like the faulty Firestone tires that were placed on several Ford Explorers many years ago, knowledge of recalls are important, and the consumer actions once a recalled item is made public can prove to be life-saving. The types of recalls cover a broad range of products and include the following recently recalled items:
- John Deer Gator Utility Vehicle (fuel line can separate causing a fire hazard)
- Target children’s two-piece pajamas (flammability)
- Fisher Price infant recliner seats (may collapse)
- Air-misters sold at Target (shattering while in use)
- Powertec Workbench (back support breaks)
- Trampolines sold at Walmart
Many stores have the obligation to remove a recalled item from inventory once the recall has been established. Other recalls occur when the prevalence of injury is so high that the product becomes banned altogether, such as in the case of recreational lawn darts from the 1980s. After several deaths, the product was deemed so dangerous that recreational lawn darts are almost non-existent today.
If you have been injured as a result of recalled product, you will want to work with a law firm who has experience in product liability cases. Defective product proof can be challenging, and timelines are imperative in filing and investigating a case. Don’t take a product malfunction for granted; you could have a claim against a company for producing an unsafe product.