Many people in the Sacramento area may have heard of a product recall. Recalls get reported through media outlets and posted on company’s websites. Likewise, people who visit local stores may see posters announcing that certain products have been recalled.
Some Californians may have even had to return a product due to a recall in order to get their money back or get a free repair on the product to ensure it is safe.
There are many different government agencies, operating under federal law or the laws of California, which regulate product safety in order to protect the public from dangerous or potentially dangerous consumer products.
Each different rules may have different rules covering recalls and how a regulated company must handle them.
Voluntary recalls are not examples of companies simply being concerned for safety
For example, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, has detailed recall procedures that cover retailers, manufacturers and others which make money off of many different types of consumer products.
In general, the public should understand that a voluntary recall is only voluntary in the sense that a business followed the law and self-reported a potentially unsafe product, or a product that did not meet certain legal safety standards, to the CPSC after an internal investigation or consumer complaint.
Businesses may also have to report if they settle or have a judgment entered against them in multiple civil lawsuits involving their product. They must also report certain choking incidents.
The business then has to cooperate by following the CPSC standards of pulling the product from the market to correct the issue and notifying the public and others of the recall.
No one should see a voluntary recall as the sign that a business is especially concerned about the public or careful about product safety.
It is worth pointing out that recall proceedings may be matters of public record.
Recalls do not necessarily mean victims will recover damages
To be clear, a product need only have some considerable potential for causing an injury in order for the CPSC’s recall standards to apply. No actual injury, serious or otherwise, needs to have occurred.
Recalls also are not designed to get victims compensation for their losses. For a victim of a dangerous product to get compensation, they may need to file a product liability claim.