Product recalls are an unpleasant reality and the frequency at which they are occurring seems to be increasing. No industry seems to be immune from a recall. They occur in industries that make toys, to cars, to dog food. Sometimes the defect is minor and of no significance. Sometimes the defect is major and poses a grave danger to the consumer. Product recalls are dealt with in a host of ways depending on the severity of the defect.
There are several classes of recalls. The classes differentiate the level of danger and the protocols needed to recall a product with a defect of that particular class. Class III signifies a defect that highly unlikely to cause any injury or reaction. This is most often the case when there is a problem with the packaging of an item. Class II signifies a defective product poses a temporary health risk. No long lasting or significant injury or reaction is a possibility in this classification. The last classification is Class I. This class is reserved for products with defects that pose a serious risk to a consumers safety, health, or life.
Depending on the industry and the classification of the defect, a company can either voluntarily recall an item or it could be required by law. In several cases, the recall is voluntarily enforced by a company. The negative publicity and potential liability often outweigh the costs for the recall. However, there are also several cases where the is recall required by law. The severity of the risk most often dictates whether it is mandatory, but there are times when the level of deception to hide the defect requires a mandatory recall.
Whether the recall is mandated by law or voluntary, they occur to protect consumers. In the event that you buy something that is under a recall, mandatory or voluntary, heed it.