• Product Recall: What It Means For Consumers
  • April 24, 2017 | Author: Peter G. Angelos
  • Law Firm: Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos A Professional Corporation - Baltimore Office
  • The Law Offices of Peter Angelos is committed to providing information related to defective products, as such products have the potential to cause serious injuries and death to unknowing consumers.

    There are various agencies, laws and regulations in the United States that govern the dissemination and safety of consumer products. When it is discovered that a product is defective, these regulatory controls specify the process for removing it from the consumer market-known as a recall.

    There are guidelines in place to ensure that recalls are conducted in a certain way. When a defect or concern related to the product is discovered, the onus lies with the manufacturer to report such to the proper regulating authority, such as the Food and Drug Administration. The regulating agency will then work with the manufacturer and other involved entities to notify the general public of the recall and provide any additional guidance on actions that should be taken.  When companies do not provide notice of the recall or the defect to the proper authority, they can face penalties in the form of fines or mandated actions.

    Understanding FDA Recalls

    The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for regulating all food products, medication and medical products that reach consumers in the United States. The Administration also regulates cosmetic products and dietary supplements.

    Recalls concerning any product regulated by the FDA can occur in one of two ways: the recall is reported by the associated company, or mandated by the Administration itself. When a recall is conducted, the FDA will publish details regarding the product, any safety concerns and guidance for affected parties.

    FDA recalls are classified in three different ways depending on the severity of injury that could occur as a result of the product defect. FDA product recall classifications are as follows:
    • Class I- The FDA will classify a product recall as a Class I if the product could cause severe injuries or death.
    • Class II- If there is a possibility that a product could cause short term health issues, the FDA will classify the recall as a Class II.
    • Class III- The FDA will issue a Class III recall for products that are in violation of FDA regulation, but are not likely to cause harm to consumers.
    In the event that a recall is not issued for a product, yet a consumer experiences injury or harm from using the product, a report should be filed electronically through the proper reporting channels on the FDA website. These adverse event reports help the FDA to identify defective and dangerous products, and initiate action when merited.

    Understanding product recalls can help to prevent consumers from becoming severely injured by defective products. It is equally as important that consumers understand their right to report on defective products and adverse events, as these reports can help to ensure that other consumers do not face the same fate.