Injury and Accident Law
ELEMENTS OF A RECALL
A firm that undertakes a recall should develop a comprehensive plan that reaches throughout the entire distribution chain and to consumers who have the product. The firm must design each communication to motivate people to respond to the recall and take the action requested by the firm.
Once the CPSC Compliance staff and a firm agree on a remedy to correct a violative product, the CPSC Compliance staff works with the firm to put together an effective plan for public notification and implementation of the recall. The Commission will publicize the terms of the plan to inform the public of the nature of the noncomplying product hazard and the actions being undertaken to correct that hazard.
The objectives of a recall are:
- To locate all noncomplying products as quickly as possible;
- To remove noncomplying products from the distribution chain and from the possession of consumers; and
- To communicate accurate and understandable information in a timely manner to the public about the noncomplying product, the hazard, and the corrective action. Companies should design all informational material to motivate retailers and media to get the word out and consumers to act on the recall.
In determining what forms of notice to use, companies should consider where and how the product was marketed, its user population, the estimated useful life of the product, and how the product is most likely to be maintained and repaired.
A firm conducting a recall must take particular care to coordinate the notice portion of the recall so that all participating parties, including retailers, have sufficient advance notice so that they can carry out the actions agreed upon. Notice also needs to be balanced -- the purpose of some elements, such as news releases, press conferences, and video news releases -- is to get the media to publicize information about the recall widely. Other elements, such as advertisements and posters, assure that the information is available to the public throughout the course of the recall and is to be designed to reach consumers who did not hear the original announcement.