In 2007, recalls of products, especially imported products, seemed to be epidemic. Especially worrisome were the number of toys imported from China that had to be recalled because they contained lead paint or other dangerous chemicals.
Defective products are supposed to be recalled when they represent a danger to you, the consumer. A company is supposed to issue a recall as soon as it becomes aware that a product:
- Has a defect that makes it unsafe
- Has caused an injury or death to a consumer, user, or bystander as a result of a defect
- Does not comply with legislative requirements
Although the government views recalls as a way to protect you and other consumers from dangerous products, companies view a defective product recall as a potentially significant expense. First, they see it as a significant financial outlay up front as it costs money to get their products off the shelf and returned. It may be expensive to repair, replace, or destroy the product. In addition, companies fear that they will suffer a loss of reputation as a result of the recall.
To minimize the damage caused by a potential recall, companies may practice a number of different strategies including:
- Ignore the problem and hope that no-one notices the defect
- Delay in issuing a recall
- Issue a limited recall naming only a few products they know to be defective, leaving other closely related products on the market
- Downplay the potential danger posed by the product
- Limit advertising of recall
- Deflect or ignore questions about the defective product
Unfortunately, all of these strategies can increase the chance that you will suffer a personal injury as a result of a defective product.
Although the legislature is working to change this, Health Canada does not have the authority to compel a company to recall a defective product, nor does it have the power to issue fines or penalties to manufacturers who do not meet safety requirements. Instead, the fines have to come from you, the consumer, who has not only the right, but the responsibility to seek to penalize manufacturers and sellers of defective products. By exacting a high price for dangerous products, you can help protect us all from dangerous products in the future.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, whether or not it has been recalled, contact our skilled defective product lawyers today by calling 604-730-4120. Contact Stephens & Holman BEFORE you discuss your accident with a representative from the seller or manufacturer of the defective product. We offer a complimentary, no-obligation consultation, and do not collect until after you do.