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General steps to a product recall
A product recall usually involves the following steps, which may differ according to local laws:
Maker or dealer notifies the authorities responsible of their intention to recall a product. In some cases the government can also request a recall of a product. Consumer hotlines or other communication channels are established. The scope of the recall, that is, which serial numbers or batch numbers etc. are recalled, is often specified.
Product recall announcements are released on the respective government agency’s website (if applicable), as well as in paid notices in the metropolitan daily newspapers. In some circumstances, heightened publicity will also result in news television reports advising of the recall.
When a consumer group learns of a recall it will also notify the public by various means.
Typically, the consumer is advised to return the goods, regardless of condition, to the seller for a full refund or modification.
Avenues for possible consumer compensation will vary depending on the specific laws governing consumer trade protection and the cause of recall.
Microwave plastic bowls
If You Have a Problem with a Recall Repair
A significant defect can make your car unsafe to drive. If your car or car equipment is recalled, you have the right to a free recall remedy. Manufacturers are required to repair, replace, or refund your car or equipment free of charge and in a reasonable amount of time. However, as with many things that are free, getting your car fixed can take some time. Here are some steps to take if you run into any difficulties, courtesy of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Your Recall Remedy Rights
Understanding your rights during a recall is important. Federal law gives you the right to a free recall remedy. You don’t have to pay for it, and the manufacturer should contact you with directions for fixing your car or equipment. This means that you should receive a letter in the mail informing you about the recall, your remedy, and when and how to get your car or equipment fixed.
Note that while your recall remedy is free, the manufacturer generally decides what your remedy will be. Federal law requires that your car’s safety concerns be addressed, but doesn’t give you a choice of remedies. If a recall promises to repair your car or replace a piece of equipment, you don’t have a right to insist on a full refund instead.
Contact Your Dealership’s Service Department
Your local dealership is the first point of contact during a recall. Most manufacturers will administer a recall through the service departments at their dealerships, as they are well equipped to repair or replace their own vehicles. When you receive a letter notifying you of a recall, it should ordinarily direct you to your local dealership.
If you run into difficulties with your dealer’s service department, first speak to the service manager. Customer satisfaction is important to car dealerships, and most managers will want to uphold their reputation and service ratings. Also, it’s worth remembering that recalls can seriously swamp a service department’s schedule. Being patient and polite while inquiring about your car’s repair can go a long way to aiding your cause.
Contact the Manufacturer
Ultimately, the manufacturer is responsible for a recall. If you encounter problems that cannot be addressed by your dealership, you should contact the manufacturer for assistance. The letter notifying you of the recall should provide a toll-free number you can call. The manufacturer’s contact information can also be obtained online, from your car owner’ manual, or from the dealership. The manufacturer will generally want to sort out any problems in the recall process and can work with the dealership to fix any miscommunications or problems.
Contact the NHTSA
The NHTSA is the federal agency responsible for car safety and recalls. If you run into problems during a recall, and your dealership or manufacturer cannot help, you can always file a complaint with the NHTSA. The NHTSA monitors recalls and works closely with manufacturers to ensure safety issues are addressed. The agency may be able to resolve your issue, or else put you in touch with someone who can.
The Importance of Food Traceability
So what is driving all the discussion about food traceability? And why is traceability suddenly so important?
Traceability is most relevant when it comes to public health . Whether we are talking about food safety or food defense, emergency planning can be broken into four phases:
1. Preparedness: When planning for an emergency situation, traceability provides greater visibility into a supply chain, thereby helping be better prepared if something goes wrong.
2. Response: In case something goes wrong, traceability improves the agility of the response by all stakeholders.
3. Recovery: During the recovery phase, traceability allows the industry and regulators to maintain or rebuild trust with consumers into the safety and resiliency of the food system.
4. Prevention: Traceability allows for the determination of causality of the problem through root cause analysis, thereby preventing future issues.
Let’s first take a look at who the key stakeholders are. They can be divided into government (such as U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, not to forget state and local regulators); the food industry (including farmers, ingredient suppliers, processors, distributors, wholesalers, foodservice, retailers); academia (education, research, extension, Centers of Excellence); and consumers.
Traceability has become increasingly important. The global food supply chain today has evolved into a tangled web as companies seek to enhance their capabilities to feed the world’s growing population. While food safety problems remain rare, when they do occur, time is the enemy as public health and lives are at stake, as well as the livelihoods of industries, companies and employees. The Global Food Traceability Center is intended to assist companies to better understand and implement ways to track and trace the paths of products through the food chain, to improve food safety and security and to avoid or mitigate devastating public health and economic impacts. However, we want to emphasize that food traceability is about more than recalls. Being able to ascertain the origin of products, ingredients and their attributes, from the farm through food processing to retail, foodservice and the consumer, is growing in importance. Increasingly, public health concerns are demanding traceability, but it will be the business economic drivers that will sustain it. For example, according the Grocery Manufacturers Association in the U.S., the financial impact of a recall is quite significant: 52% of all recalls cost over $10M and 23% cost over $30M.
The food supply chain today is truly a maze that is global, dynamic and complex in nature. Key challenging issues include globalization of the food supply chain, changing industry processes and consumer preferences for fresh and minimally processed foods. The maze begins at agriculture followed by food processing, storage and distribution. During the transportation of food products, varied domestic and international regulations and standards are applied, not to mention variable enforcement and inconsistent and sometimes contradictory scientific rationales for such regulations are encountered. Exiting the maze, one finds a cacophony of consumer trends and changing habits, health drivers and new threats, which includes misinformation spread in the mass media. Thus, concerns about both the safety and quality of food continue to escalate.
Such concerns include the following:
• More foodborne illness: high visibility cases of Escherichia coli, Listeria, Salmonella, etc.
• Higher number and visibility of recalls
• Rise in fraudulent activities in the food chain and counterfeit products
• More products coming from countries with lower health and safety standards
• Higher risk of contamination or spoilage due to long, complex supply chains
• Increased threat of terrorism
The impact of all this is considerable and significant, including:
• Economic loss from negative impact of recalls
• Rising distrust of the food supply and fragile consumer confidence
• Greater demands for proof of food product claims
• Increased demands for regulation and guidelines
• Increased business costs to comply with regulations
Why is traceability so important? The reason really depends on who you talk to.
For public safety, it’s about reducing incidences of food fraud as well as unintentional or intentional adulteration; disease management; and environmental emergencies
For businesses, it’s all about risk management and mitigation—lowering the impact of recalls and lowering liability costs
For the supply chain, efficiencies relate to productivity; cash flow improvements; innovation; and reducing waste
And for consumers, it’s about access to markets and specialty foods ; and enhancing or strengthening brand confidence
But regardless of the specific reason, traceability is critical to all stakeholders.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
CPSC administers and enforces several federal laws. These laws authorize the agency to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.
CPSC publishes regulations to implement the laws it administers and enforces. These regulations specify the requirements that apply to individuals, businesses, and others.
Contact Us: 800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)
Toll Free Consumer Hotline | Time: 8 a.m. – 5.30. p.m. ET
Vehicle Recall Tips
Get it fixed. Approximately 25% of all notices go ignored, as owners simply do not take the time to get the work done. Recalls do not mean every affected vehicle will have a problem, however, as the old adage goes, better safe than sorry.
Keep your receipts. If you happen to have your vehicle repaired before the official recall was announced, you might be eligible for reimbursement by the manufacturer.
Be aggressive. Recalls are reported by the news media, but it may take a month or more for car companies to mail out letters to owners and to send parts and instructions to dealers. If your car shows signs of the problem, don’t wait for the recall letter. Call your dealer and have the problem checked. At the very least, place yourself at the top of the waiting list.
Check for recalls. Manufacturers are required to notify, by first-class mail, all registered owners and purchasers of the affected vehicles of the existence of the problem. Names and addresses of vehicle owners are obtained from the state’s department of motor vehicles, so it is important to keep your vehicle registration up to date. If you’ve moved a lot or have a used car, you may be difficult to find. Go to www.safercar.gov to search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) database for recalls. Click on vehicle recalls and plug in the year and model of your car. If you find a recall, call your dealer or the automaker’s customer service line and ask if it was repaired by providing them with the vehicle identification (VIN) number.
Stay connected. If you go to safercar.gov, you can sign up for email alerts on the agency’s website. If your car does have a recall issue, the NHTSA will contact you via email.
Other repairs. Things often go wrong with cars that aren’t big enough to cause a recall. Automakers issue “technical service bulletins” to dealers telling them to fix cars when they come in for other repairs. It’s difficult for a consumer to check for the bulletins, but some information is on websites set up by car enthusiasts.
To provide better service in alerting the American people to unsafe, hazardous or defective products, six federal agencies with vastly different jurisdictions have joined together to create www.recalls.gov — a “one stop shop” for U.S. Government recalls.
Glossary: Recalls and Alerts
Use this quick guide to understand types of recalls and other terms.
Recall: A recall is an action taken by a pharmaceutical manufacturer or distributor to remove a product from the market. In most cases, companies initiate a voluntary recall after discovering potential problems that are in violation of the law. In other cases, the FDA recognizes the problem and requests that the company recall the product. If the company does not comply, the FDA may pursue regulatory action to have the product seized.
Recalls may occur at the consumer, retail or wholesale level. A consumer-level recall – which includes individual patients, physicians and hospitals – are the ones we hear about most often, and may require action on the part of the consumer. Retail-level recalls are directed at retailers and providers. Wholesale-level recalls involve distribution between the manufacturer and retailer.
Recalls fall into one of three classes:
Class I – The most serious, class I recalls are issued when there is a defect with a drug – due to contamination of raw materials, for example – or labeling that could lead to serious health problems or even death.
Class II – Class II recalls are issued when exposure to the drug may cause a temporary or medically reversible health problem or a slight chance of a serious problem.
Class III – Class III recalls are issued for products that violate FDA regulations – for example, a bottle that doesn’t contain the number of pills stated on the label – but are unlikely to cause adverse health consequences.
Market withdrawal: A market withdrawal is taken by a manufacturer to remove or correct a distributed product due to a minor violation that would not be subject to legal action by the FDA.
Medical device safety alert: An alert issued by the manufacturer of a medical device that presents a risk of substantial harm. These are sometimes considered recalls.
Black box warning: Also called a “boxed warning,” this an alert the FDA may require manufacturers to place on a medication label or package insert if medical studies suggest the drug carries a significant risk of serious or life-threatening adverse events.
Drug shortage: A drug shortage is defined by the FDA as a situation in which the total supply of all clinically interchangeable versions of an FDA-regulated drug is inadequate to meet the current or projected demand at the patient level.
Recalls.gov – www.recalls.gov
MedWatch The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program – www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm, 800/332-1088
FDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts – www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm
FDA Enforcement Reports – www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/EnforcementReports/default.htm
What does it mean when a manufacturer initiates a safety recall involving vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment?
A safety recall involving a motor vehicle or an item of motor vehicle equipment can be independently conducted by a manufacturer or ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In either case, the manufacturer must file a public report describing the safety-related defect or noncompliance with a
Federal motor vehicle safety standard, the involved vehicle/equipment population, the major events that resulted in the recall determination, a description of the remedy, and a schedule for the recall. NHTSA monitors each safety recall to ensure the manufacturers provide owners safe, free, and effective remedies according to the Safety Act and Federal regulations. Manufacturers are obligated to attempt to notify owners of recalled products. For vehicles, that means manufacturers merge their own records of vehicle purchasers with current state vehicle registration information. For equipment, where state registration records do not exist, manufacturers are obligated to notify their distribution chain and known purchasers of the recalled equipment. However, even if you do not receive a notification, if your vehicle, child restraint, or other item of equipment is involved in a safety recall, the manufacturer is obligated to provide a free remedy.
Each notification letter must contain the following information:
describe the defect or noncompliance;
the risk or hazard posed by the problem, including any warning of the problem;
a brief description of the free remedy, including when the remedy will be available and how long the repair will take; and
a description of what the owner can do if the owner is unable to have the problem corrected within a reasonable time and without charge.
Remedy without charge means the repair, replacement, or repurchase of the vehicle or item of equipment that will correct the safety defect or noncompliance. The manufacturer initially decides what the remedy will be, but it may be changed if it is not effective. Owners should have the recall work completed as soon as possible.
Recalls involving tires are specifically limited in the Safety Act such that the owner must have the recall work completed within 60 days of receiving notification that it must be done. All other safety recalls are in effect for the life of the product.
The Safety Act does not provide for reimbursement for damages that the defect or noncompliance may have caused. However, owners may be able to recover such expenses privately. Historically, most manufacturers will reimburse owners for the costs of repair incurred before the safety recall, if the owner has kept the receipts for service.
What to do if you are unable to have the recall work done or have it done without charge.
In the vast majority of cases, dealers perform safety-related recall repairs promptly and correctly. However, from time to time, problems do occur. We can categorize these problems broadly as an inability to have the recall work done or to have it done without charge.
When you receive a letter from the manufacturer of your vehicle notifying you that your car has been recalled, you should contact your dealer’s service department to arrange for the recall repair. If you then have problems in obtaining the free recall repair, you can contact NHTSA immediately as explained below under Step 3. However, it is usually quicker to attempt to resolve the problem using Steps 1 or 2.
Step 1: Contact the dealer service manager
The first step is to contact the dealer service manager. You should explain the situation to the manager, identifying the work required as part of a safety recall. If you have the manufacturer’s notification letter on the safety recall, it will help explain your concern.
In the vast majority of cases, this will resolve any problems. However, if you do not feel the service manager has answered your concerns completely, then you should contact the manufacturer, Step 2.
Step 2: Contact the Manufacturer
To contact the manufacturer, call the telephone number (usually toll-free) that is provided in the letter sent to you notifying you of the recall. You can also find the telephone number for the manufacturer’s local representative or toll free customer service number in the back of the vehicle owner’s manual. Once again, you must describe the problem you are having and usually the following information:
The make, model, and model year of your vehicle and the vehicle identification number (VIN);
Briefly describe the recall and the problem you are having;
Identify your dealer and what steps you have taken with the dealer to resolve the matter.
The manufacturer will look into the matter and should be able to resolve your concern within a few days.
If you believe that you are unable to have the recall work completed without charge, then please contact NHTSA, Step 3. You should also contact the NHTSA if you believe that the recall work has not corrected the safety defect.
Step 3: Contact NHTSA
Contacting NHTSA is easy. You can write us, call us toll-free, or connect with us over the Internet. Our address and toll-free telephone number are provided in every recall notification letter. You can write to us at: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, West Building, Washington, D.C. 20590. Our toll-free telephone number is (888)DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236). To contact us over the Internet, simply go to our interactive web site at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/ and complete the questionnaire.
Key Food Safety Tips
Food Safety Gov.
FoodSafety.gov is the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies.
According to the Key Findings of the Food Safety Working Group:
“The federal government will enhance www.foodsafety.gov to better communicate information to the public and include an improved individual alert system allowing consumers to receive food safety information, such as notification of recalls. Agencies will also use social media to expand public communications.”
Selected Federal Agencies with a Role in Food Safety
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The FDA is charged with protecting consumers against impure, unsafe, and fraudulently labeled products. FDA, through its Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), regulates foods other than the meat, poultry, and egg products regulated by FSIS. FDA is also responsible for the safety of drugs, medical devices, biologics, animal feed and drugs, cosmetics, and radiation emitting devices.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC leads federal efforts to gather data on foodborne illnesses, investigate foodborne illnesses and outbreaks, and monitor the effectiveness of prevention and control efforts in reducing foodborne illnesses. CDC also plays a key role in building state and local health department epidemiology, laboratory, and environmental health capacity to support foodborne disease surveillance and outbreak response.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
The CPSC is the federal commission behind the crackdown on selling recalled items in white elephant sales. Although the law may be hard to comply with, due to the sheer number of recalled products, at least they try to help.
Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts
The list provides information gathered from press releases and other public notices about certain recalls of FDA-regulated products. Not all recalls have press releases or are posted on this page. See Additional information about recalls for a more complete listing.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993
First Aid and Kids Medical Course
Source: Ask The Doctor
Consumer Product Safety Commission
CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
WeMakeItSafer is a high-tech, social venture that builds web applications for consumers, manufacturers and retailers to improve communication around product safety information and recalls.
The “We” in WeMakeItSafer means all of us – each doing his or her part to make the world a safer place. As a company, WeMakeItSafer’s job is to build tools and services that make taking part easier.
Our mission is to dramatically reduce the number of product-related injuries, illnesses and deaths that occur each year worldwide. In so doing, we not only save lives, we help to build stronger, more socially responsible and financially stable companies.
Curious about how WeMakeItSafer got started?
Latest recalls information from SaferCar.gov
NHTSA launches Recalls Spotlight for consumers
New feature will focus on presenting the latest information regarding the recalls you’re hearing about right now. Check out Recalls Spotlight
Has a recalled vehicle been repaired?
Find out using our VIN search
Car owners and buyers may not always know the vehicle they own or are purchasing still needs to be repaired because of a recall action. NHTSA’s new search tool lets you:
- Enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly learn if a specific vehicle has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years
- Directly access the recalls databases of major vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers
- Get the relevant recall information so you can contact the manufacturer or dealer about the repair if it was part of a safety recall
What is NHTSA: NHTSA was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. It works daily to help prevent crashes and their attendant costs, both human and financial.
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Toll-Free: 1-888-327-4236 / Hearing Impaired (TTY): 1-800-424-9153 / Media inquiries: 202-366-9550
USDOT General Information Main Switchboard (including personnel locator): 202-366-4000 / Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:30pm Eastern, excluding Federal Holidays.
Poison Prevention Safety Information for Children developed by the New York State Poison Control Centers
Stop! Ask First!
Stop! Ask first!
Is this good for us?
Stop! Ask First!
It could be poisonous.
Before we smell it or touch it
Or pick it up
let’s walk on over
to a grown-up
and stop! Ask First!
Stop! Ask first!
Is this good for us?
Stop! Ask First!
It could be poisonous.
Before we smell it or touch it
Or pick it up
let’s walk on over
to a grown-up
and stop! Ask First!
Food Safety News
Food Safety News was founded in 2009 to fill a void. At the time, both print and broadcast media were facing consolidation and budget cuts. Dedicated reporters on the food, health and safety beats were being reassigned or seeing their positions disappear altogether.
Food safety attorney Bill Marler saw an opportunity to pull together a team of talented journalists and give them the resources to provide timely reporting on food safety issues like no other news outlet could. Today, our original, in-depth reports are published daily, and are complemented by contributed articles and opinion pieces written by food safety leaders from every sector of the industry. Our reporters have been granted access to the White House, the Supreme Court, and multiple Congressional offices alongside the nation’s leading newspapers and media networks.
Our annual traffic grew to almost 4 million unique visitors in the past year—up nearly 100 percent from the previous year. That tells us Food Safety News is providing much-needed coverage of topics important not only to our core audience of food industry leaders and government agency personnel, but to every one who cares about the safety of the food supply.
As Food Safety News entered its 7th year of publication in September 2015, our reporters continued to bring you outstanding, award-winning coverage of topics ranging from policy and politics to foodborne illness outbreaks to sustainability, science and research. Your suggestions and comments help inspire us to dig deeper into food safety issues as we continue to expand our scope, audience, and impact on the dialogue around food in the world today.
Product Recall Site
|Motor Vehicle Recalls – Search by the vehicle or equipment producernd/or model. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues|
|Child Safety Seat Recalls – Child safety seat recalls from 1990 to date, by manufacturer. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm|
|Motor Vehicle Equipment Recalls – Search by the vehicle or equipment producer and/or model. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues|
|Tire Recalls – Search for tire recalls. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues|
|Monthly Recall Reports – Listing of notable safety recalls affecting the public occurring in a given month. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/recallmonthlyreports.cfm|
|School Bus Recalls – Safety recall guide to all school bus recalls occurring from January 1997, updated annually. (not available at this time)|
|Subscribe to NHTSA’s Recall Notification E-mail System http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/subscriptions/index.cfm|
Owners may not always know their recalled vehicle still needs to be repaired. NHTSA’s new search tool lets you enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly learn if a specific vehicle has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years
Recalls Look-up by VIN – Vehicle Identification Number
Safe Kids is dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive list of monthly child-related recalls collected from the major federal agencies: the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We also bring you any news and consumer concerns about children’s products.
Remember that safety recalls don’t expire, so check our product recalls pages regularly, especially if you receive hand-me-downs or buy children’s products at a secondhand shop or yard sale.