Product Recall

What is a Product Recall?

A product recall is a request that a batch or an entire production run of a product be returned to the manufacturer usually due to the discovery of safety issues. The recall is an effort to limit liability for corporate negligence (which can cause costly legal penalties) and to curb bad publicity. Recalls are costly to a company because they often entail replacing the recalled product or paying for damages caused in use.


A country’s consumer protection laws will have specific requirements in regards to product recalls. Safety-related recalls can be voluntarily initiated by the manufacturer or made compulsory by a government agency if the risk is seen to be significant and if it is in the best interests of the consumer.

Steps required to recall a product.

  • A product recall usually involves the following steps which may differ according to local laws:
  • Company/Supplier notifies the respective government agency of their intention to recall a product. Consumer hotlines or other communication channels are established.
  • Product recall announcements are released on the respective government agency’s website (if applicable) as well as in paid notices in the metropolitan daily newspapers. In some circumstances heightened publicity will also result in news television reports advising of the recall.
  • Typically the consumer is advised to return the goods regardless of condition to the store from which it was purchased for a full refund or modification.
  • Avenues for possible consumer compensation will vary depending on the specific laws governing consumer trade protection.

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