Every year, thousands of products, ranging from foods, drugs and medical devices to toys and automobile tires, are recalled from the market due to defects that may represent a hazard to consumers. In the majority of instances, the manufacturers or distributors of recalled products withdraw them from the market voluntarily. In other instances, a government agency in charge of supervising a certain product category informs a company of findings from an investigation and requests a recall. Usually, the company will comply. If a company is deemed noncompliant, legal action may be taken.
Recalls can occur for a number of reasons. A company may manufacture a product with a design flaw that fails to meet government safety standards. Products may be tampered with, accidentally contaminated or even deemed dangerous because of new scientific information regarding a material ingredient of the product. Recall statistics can be staggering. In August 2000, Bridgestone / Firestone recalled six million tires due to a safety-related defect involving tire tread separation that was linked to hundreds of deaths. To date, over ten million tires, mostly equipped on SUVs, have been recalled.
While a recall leads to a fiscal and emotional nightmare for the company involved, a thorough withdrawal of any defective product often saves countless lives. For instance, analysts believe the Firestone tire recall
prevented hundreds of fatal automobile accidents.
Recently, the Cox-2 inhibiting drugs Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra have come under fire for causing heart attacks and strokes. Lawyers investigating Vioxx, attorneys filing Celebrex lawsuits, and Bextra law firms urge patients to find an arthritis drug lawyer to handle their stroke claim. Merck has also performed a voluntary Vioxx recall in light of the Vioxx heart attack and stroke concern. The FDA has yet to recall Bextra or Celebrex.
There are several government agencies in charge of supervising recalls from a wide range of product categories. Click on a government agency below to see what products are monitored and for an update on some recent recalls.
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)