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Understanding the purpose of product recalls

Every day, thousands of people in California purchase products for use in their homes, offices and for recreation. While a majority of these products undergo rigorous testing to verify their compliance with quality assurance guidelines, defective products still manage to make their way into the hands of consumers.

Product recalls affect products from a variety of industries. Many consumers view recalls as an inconvenience especially if they have not experienced any negative side effects. However, consumers should take recalls seriously to prevent unnecessary injury and emotional distress.

Determining a defect

While manufacturers have their own expectations for the quality and function of their products, they must also adhere to governmental guidelines to protect consumer safety. According to CNBC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls nearly 500 products each year, totaling millions of dollars of consumer spending.

Agents of the CPSC, assess the likelihood of an injury occurring during a product’s use. They also analyze the severity of a potential injury based on different scenarios of a product defect. Based on their findings, they may issue a recall for certain products.

Responding to a recall

Product recalls can affect anyone because of the breadth of products the CPSC analyzes. According to, recalls can impact everything from toys and cosmetics to vehicles and food. Consumers should respond to product recalls swiftly to reduce their risk of injury.

Depending on the product and the circumstances of a recall, consumers may have a few options. They could send their product back for a full refund. They may also receive information about how to have specific components of their product replaced for free by the manufacturer. When recalls affect consumers, detailed information about the appropriate response will accompany information about the recall to make responding convenient for the consumer.

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