A Guide on Product Recall: Examples & Prevention

Get answers to the following questions: When should a product be recalled? What is an example of a product recall? What products have been recalled recently?

product recall team member checking if recalled products have been removed from shelves

Published 28 Apr 2022

What is a Product Recall?

A product recall is a request for consumers to return hazardous products to the manufacturer. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a product may need to be recalled if it has a defect that causes a substantial risk of injury. Though manufacturers are highly encouraged to conduct product recalls voluntarily, in some cases, the CPSC or other national authority can mandate a product recall.

Examples

Below are three examples of major product recalls that have taken place throughout the years:

  • Automotive Industry: Toyota Accelerators – Faulty pedals caused unintended acceleration, leading to Toyota recalling around 8 million of their vehicles in 2009-2010.
  • Pharmaceutical Industry: Merck Vioxx – The Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) was found to increase the risk of heart attacks, resulting in Merck recalling the drug 5 years after it was released to consumers.
  • Food Industry: Peanut Corporation of America – A salmonella outbreak linked to two of the company’s processing plants led to a widespread product recall issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What Products Have Been Recalled Recently?

Products that have been recalled recently (in 2022) include:

What is the Product Recall Procedure?

Even before a product recall procedure begins, manufacturers should form a cross-functional product recall team and create a comprehensive product recall plan, if they haven’t already. This is because as soon as they receive potentially reportable information, manufacturers will need to start the product recall procedure and do the following steps:

1. Conduct an investigation

According to the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), reportable information includes any information that indicates a product’s failure to comply with a consumer product safety rule, standard, or regulation; or that it contains a defect which could cause a substantial hazard or risk of injury. Upon receiving potentially reportable information, manufacturers have 10 days to conduct an investigation and determine if the information is reportable.

2. Report to the CPSC

If manufacturers are certain that information is reportable, they should report it to the CPSC within 24 hours of receipt or identification. This initial report should contain the product’s description; details of the manufacturer; nature and extent of the defect, non-compliance, or risk; nature and extent of injury or risk of injury; as well as the name and address of the reporter. An additional full report may also be required by the CPSC in certain cases. 

Reports can be sent to the CPSC through their website or email. Digital reports should be confirmed in writing within 48 hours of their submission to the CPSC.

3. Immediately implement a recall 

Upon filing the initial report, manufacturers can choose to immediately (within 20 days) implement a recall through the CPSC’s Fast Track Recall Program. The main benefit of participating in the program is that the CPSC will not make a preliminary hazard determination. To join the Fast Track Recall Program, manufacturers need to:

The product recall is only one part of the corrective action plan and the CPSC may have other suggestions which manufacturers in the Fast Track Recall Program will need to follow.

4. Wait for the CPSC to evaluate the report

Another option after submitting the initial report is to simply wait for the CPSC to evaluate the report and cooperate with them when they ask for information and further documentation. In some cases, the CPSC may decide that no corrective action, such as a recall, is needed

5. Notify all stakeholders about the recall

Once the need for a product recall has been identified, it’s important for manufacturers to work closely with the CPSC, especially when communicating to the public about the recall. The CPSC must first approve product recall messaging before it is released, regardless of platform or media format. Aside from the general public and consumers of the product, manufacturers must also notify their distributors, retailers, and suppliers (e.g., when an issue is traced to the supplier of a component or raw material).

6. Submit monthly progress reports

After implementing a product recall, manufacturers need to submit Monthly Progress Reports (MPRs) through the CPSC Business Portal. Access to this system can be given by either the compliance officer assigned to the recall or another user with access to the system. Manufacturers must submit MPRs until the CPSC tells them not to do so

Preventing Recalls with iAuditor

Choose to be proactive in preventing product recalls with iAuditor by SafetyCulture, a digital operations platform that manufacturers can use to do the following:

Use iAuditor for free and start recall prevention today!

SafetyCulture Content Specialist

Zarina Gonzalez

Zarina is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture. She enjoys discovering new ways for businesses to improve their safety, quality, and operations. She is working towards helping companies become more efficient and better equipped to thrive through change.

Zarina is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture. She enjoys discovering new ways for businesses to improve their safety, quality, and operations. She is working towards helping companies become more efficient and better equipped to thrive through change.