Products – whether they are automobiles, water heaters or frozen peas – are being subject to recalls much more often than they were ever before, according to an article in The new York Times. Thousands of products have been recalled over the last couple of years. In fact, in 2015, 51 million vehicles were recalled, much more than the number of vehicles actually sold in the U.S. Annual food recalls have doubled since 2002 and the government’s primary products watchdog, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), announces at least one recall a day.
What is Driving this Increase?
The Times article says two trends are driving this increase. First, better detection tools and stricter safety standards are making sure that problems that once went undetected are now more often spotted and traced back to their source. This was the case with many recently recalled products such as frozen vegetables produced by CRF Frozen Foods where a routine test by inspectors on packages of frozen vegetables came back positive for listeria.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used whole genome sequencing to connect the listeria found in the frozen food to an outbreak that seriously sickened eight people in three states. This type of testing wasn’t even available 15 years ago. The second trend is that today’s markets rely on fewer suppliers. This means that when there’s a recall, it’s going to be much bigger and more complicated than before. A good example of this is the Takata airbag recall. More than 30 million vehicles have been recalled in the U.S. and 35 million more are scheduled to be recalled across vehicle models and brands.
Getting the Word Out
Even though products are getting recalled, one of the biggest challenges manufacturers and government regulators face is getting the word out about the recalls. Several companies are using traditional snail mail, emails, phone calls, text messages and even social media to alert people about these safety issues. Despite these efforts, safety recalls still go unnoticed by consumers.
These are all reasons why defective products are extremely dangerous. Once they get into the hands of consumers, there is a very real danger of someone suffering injury or harm. Defective products have the potential to cause serious injuries or even deaths. Manufacturers of defective products can be held financially responsible for the injury or harm their products cause. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product or if you have lost a loved one as the result of a faulty product, please contact an experienced product liability attorney who will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain fair compensation for your significant losses.