A new report from the nonprofit advocacy group Kids in Danger has found that many companies that recall children’s products don’t post the recall information online, especially on their social media sites that are extensively used to market these products. According to a news report on Salon.com, on May 2018, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of defectively designed strollers by Jané Muum that allowed children to get their heads stuck between the opening of an armrest and the seat bottom, posing a strangulation hazard.
While CPSC issued the recall notice on its website, which was picked up by news outlets and blogs, the manufacturer, Jané USA, failed to post anything about these dangerous and defective products on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The report by Kids in Danger says this is not at all uncommon. From July 2017 through June 2019, 65 percent of the 122 companies that issued a safety recall made the announcement on their websites. However, fewer than half mentioned it in any social media posts.
Companies’ Lack of Due Diligence
The report also says that the CPSC, which publishes all recall notices on its website, has occasionally directed consumers to websites for unrelated companies. In some cases, companies posted these alerts on their website, but not on all of their social media sites. For example, three products including a dresser made by South Shore Furniture and inclined sleepers sold by Fisher-Price and Kids II Inc. were linked to at least 36 child deaths between them.
The manufacturers of the infant sleepers posted the recall alerts online and some social media, but not on Instagram. Safety advocates say there is absolutely no excuse for companies to rely on social media to promote their products, but failing to use the same tools effectively to share information that could make the difference between life and death for little children. Worldwide, about 2 billion people use Facebook, while 60 million are on Instagram and 400 million use Twitter.
Information is Power
Data collected by Kids in Danger suggests that some companies are more concerned that a high-profile recall might negatively affect their brands and public relations efforts. The report showed that several companies, even those that posted recall information on their websites, made the information difficult to find. Others were picky about where they posted the recall information.
There is no question that recalls have a negative impact on a company’s image. However, the corporation’s first responsibility should be to its consumers. These companies have a responsibility to publicize safety defects involving all products, and especially when it comes to children’s products that are widely used not just in homes, but also by caregivers in childcare centers.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a recalled product, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.