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Product recalls – putting safety first

Posted: 22/08/2017

Acting on product safety is becoming more important than ever, especially in light of the recent discovery that a Hotpoint fridge freezer was the original source of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, highlighting the devastating impact that can be caused by defective products.

What exactly is product recall?

If there is a problem with the safety of a product, its manufacturer is responsible for making arrangements for its repair, replacement or refund. This includes contacting people who have purchased it where possible and publishing a notice drawing attention to the risk the product poses and what the manufacturer is doing to remedy the issue. Unfortunately, however, problems with products are often revealed when it is too late, after damage or injury has already occurred.

Recent product recalls

It has been interesting to note the increasing prevalence with which products are recalled; a disturbing trend is emerging which suggests that vulnerable groups of people may be at risk.

There has recently been a recall of a Victoria’s Secret glitter iPhone case, a product which is particularly popular with young girls, after the fluid contained in the case was found to cause skin irritation. Likewise, a particular model of LED decorative lighting chains as well as Sylvania Syl Batten LED lights have been recalled due to the risk of electric shock as a consequence of inadequate design. Many young girls use these types of lights, often known colloquially as “fairy lights” and “lava lamps”, to adorn their bedrooms, possibly putting them in danger of being injured as a result.

In the last month, there have also been recalls of multiple childcare products, including a Mothercare Loved So Much Bouncer, which may detach if improperly assembled, as well as two different types of car seat from manufacturer Recaro. Shockingly, the Optia child car seat was found to separate from its Isofix base while seatbelts on the Zero. 1 car seat loosen in certain circumstances due to an error in production.

In the current climate, where the health and safety of children and young people could be compromised as a result of poorly manufactured products, many of which are used regularly in day to day life, it is important to be as vigilant as possible and to take note of any products which have been identified as a possible risk.

How can I find out more about product recalls?

Government agencies, such as the Food Standards Agency and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, provide information on recalls in certain product types, including details on what action to take if a product has been recalled.

Organisations such as Electrical Safety First and the UK Association of Fire Investigators provide similar information while the Chartered Trading Standards Institute also issues a list of products that have been withdrawn recently.

You can check the latest recalls, register products and find out more information here.

If you, a member of your family or a friend have concerns about injury or illness which may be linked to a defective product, or are worried about any items which have been recalled, our specialist product liability team may be able to assist.

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