You probably have no clue what a “silent recall” is, and there is a reason for that. In a nutshell, a silent recall occurs when a manufacturer repairs its defective product only when a customer complains about the defect.
Meaning: the manufacturer directly offers repairs to consumers who complain about a defect, but it does not notify the appropriate government agency about the defect nor does it recall its entire line of similar defective products.
In other words, other consumers will have no idea about the defect unless they encounter it themselves. Other bad faith manufacturers may be aware of the defect, but they do not do anything about it – they do not repair it and do not issue a recall – unless a consumer complains about it.
Our Los Angeles product liability attorney at the Compass Law Group, LLP explains that such conduct is an unacceptable industry practice, as bypassing the recalls system becomes a major consumer safety issue.
What is a silent recall?
Nonetheless, thousands of manufacturers in Los Angeles, California and all across the U.S. get away with these practices each year, putting their millions of consumers across the country at risk of injury or death.
The practice of a silent recall, in which a manufacturer refrains from notifying the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about a potential defect, makes it impossible for millions of unsuspecting consumers of defective products to find out about the defect and stop using the product or use it differently to prevent injuries or harm.
Only those who complain about a defect are contacted by manufacturers directly with an offer to repair the product, replace the defective product, or give them advice on how to repair a potential defect. Thus, the safety concern is addressed selectively, while other consumers are being kept in the dark.
How does the recalls process work?
Normally, a manufacturer that complies with accepted industry practices, cares about its reputation and the safety of its customers, must report the potential defect to the CPSC as soon as it discovers the problem: either through its own testing or after receiving complaints from customers. Regardless of how the suspected defect was discovered or how much time the product has been available to consumers before the defect was discovered, the manufacturer has an obligation to report the potential hazard to the CPSC as soon as possible, our product liability attorney in Los Angeles explains.
Afterwards, the manufacturer will cooperate with the CPSC to find the best option, which can be a recall, replacement, or repair. In cases where the defect is minor and presents no significant threat to the consumers, the manufacturer may offer a repair kit to consumers. The repair kit will be reviewed and tested by CPSC engineers who will either approve or dismiss it. In all other cases, California product liability laws call for defective products to be recalled completely, with manufacturers offering to replace the product or give a refund.
How to deal with a silent recall?
Silent recalls are becoming commonplace all across California, as manufacturers do not want to harm their reputation, miss out on huge profits, or go through the tedious and exhaustive recalls process. That is why many manufacturers choose to bypass the recall process, putting the lives of their consumers in danger.
Your life may be in danger, too. Get legal advice from our Los Angeles product liability attorney at the Compass Law Group, LLP, by contacting our offices. We offer a free consultation.