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Can a recall prevent consumers from suing manufacturers?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Product Liability

Businesses releasing products to the public generally have an obligation to make sure they are safe. Proper testing of new consumer goods to ensure that they function properly and that they don’t fail during regular use is important for consumer safety.

Proper quality control at production facilities is also essential to ensure that every batch of goods released to the public meets the same rigorous standards. When companies switch over to cheaper materials, cut back on quality control efforts or rush products to the market, they put consumers at unnecessary risk.

If products fail, they could cause injury, property damage or even death. Businesses that discover some of their products are defective may cooperate with government agencies to initiate a recall. They may also be subject to a mandatory recall required by regulatory authorities.

Recalls do not absolve a business of liability

A recall gives a manufacturer an opportunity to protect the public. They can remove defective items from store shelves, cooperate with retailers to arrange for the return or exchange of defective units and can even provide repairs in cases involving more expensive goods like household appliances or motor vehicles. Government agencies can help oversee and publicize the recall.

A recall can sometimes limit a company’s future liability. However, the manufacturer could still be liable for any injuries or deaths that occurred before the recall began. They may also be responsible for product failures that transpired during or after the recall.

The failure to remove defective goods from store shelves could lead to future culpability and lawsuits. Inadequate attempts to publicize the recall and communicate with affected consumers could also limit the benefits of a recall. Consumers unaware of a recall cannot return affected products for replacements or refunds.

Those who must schedule repairs might also have little choice but to continue using defective consumer goods even after becoming aware of the issue. The more serious the injuries and losses caused by a product defect, the more important it may be to look into every available option. Filing a product defect lawsuit against a manufacturer could help someone cover medical costs, lost wages and property damage losses triggered by consumer goods that failed or caused major issues, like house fires.