Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Recalls have limited effect in dealing with defective products

Product recalls are not always effective in getting the product off of the market, or even making the public aware of the dangers that certain products present. There were 2,363 recalls in 2011, which is a significant increase from prior years. Unfortunately, the fact that a product is being recalled does not always alert consumers that they may possess a defective product.

It is not always possible for consumers to be informed of a recall in a timely manner. Many recalls occur only after a particular product has been heavily promoted by the manufacturer, and reaching all of the individuals that had purchased such a product is often difficult.

For example, a 2009 study found that at least 12 percent of Americans have consumed food that had been recalled. Approximately 40 percent of individuals responding to this survey also admitted that they had never searched their home for food products that had been recalled.

It is possible that the residents of Pennsylvania have become so inundated with information concerning possible recalls that consumers often do not know what should be believed. Though recalls tend to be more successful when follow up is conducted by manufacturers and retailers, even in that case about ten percent of individuals purchasing the product will not be aware that a recall has occurred.

Products liability suits brought by attorneys experienced in this practice area can put manufacturers on notice that more action needs to be taken. Such lawsuits bring additional attention upon a problem. And since such lawsuits are not dependent upon whether a product has or has not been recalled, it creates an incentive to test products more thoroughly for safety before selling such products to the public.

Source: USA Today, "Surge in products being recalled may be numbing consumers," by Christopher Doering, June 8, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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