Product Recalls 101: A Consumer’s Guide

Product Recall Consumer's GuideAuto recalls, infant product recalls, medication recalls – we hear about it on TV and read the news stories weekly. Oftentimes we don’t think much of the news. That is, until a product recall hits home and affects us, our lives and our families.

In many cases, a product or auto recall can be managed through simple part replacements or product exchanges – but how do you know what to do and when? US Recall News has assembled this easy-to-follow guide for product recalls that consumers can use to help them through the process. Always vested in the safety of the public, we’re happy to share this step-by-step list with you on how to handle a product recall should you find yourself in that situation.

A vehicle or product I own has been recalled – what do I need to do?
Whether you heard it on the news or read it online, step one is to stop using the product immediately. When product recalls are issued, it is for the safety of the consumer public. Often, injuries have already been reported and if you don’t stop using a recalled product you could be next.

I stopped using the product – what’s my next step?
You need more information on the product recall, and directly from the source if possible. When a major recall is issued, it’s going to be all over the news and it is possible for lines to become blurred. What you need as a consumer is definitive information that can help you resolve your product issue and feel at ease. Our website is here to help get the word out on product recalls, especially those that don’t make it into the mainstream media, or those that the mainstream media just hasn’t found out about yet. The first step to stay informed is by subscribing to US Recall News so we can send you alerts by email. Below are the three best ways to get the information you need once you’ve found out about a recall that affects you:

  • Visit the manufacturer’s website. If you don’t see anything on their home page, look for a search box and type in “recall.” Our alerts will usually provide a link to the manufacturer’s website, as well as a phone number for customer support.
  • Contact the manufacturer directly offline. If you are lacking internet access or are mobile, you can always call information (411) for a corporate headquarters number.
  • Ask the appropriate recall agency. For more information about which government agency to contact for any given recall, and for the contact details for each organization, please click here.

What do I ask the manufacturer about my product that’s been recalled?
First and foremost, ask the manufacturer if you can continue using the product safely. Next, ask them what solutions are being offered to take care of the recall issue. In the case of cars, it is often as simple as calling the brand’s local dealership and scheduling to have the recall work performed. In other cases, such as consumer products like car seats and cribs or such, many manufacturers will have you return the product directly to them for a replacement.

What do I do if no one is responding to my request for help with my recalled product?
First step: don’t panic. Usually the lines are flooded after a big recall and it’s not like companies can keep extra call center staff on the payroll “just in case” they ever have a recall. Give them 7 business days to respond to an inquiry placed with a product manufacturer. If they haven’t gotten back to you by then there are other options available to you. We recommend a few different tactics for eliciting a remedy:

  • Contact the location of purchase: Whether an online outlet or retail location, reaching out to the place where you bought the product could yield results.
  • Switch contact methods: If you’ve been emailing, try a phone call and vice versa.
  • Conduct a web search: If you’re having problems getting your questions answered, it’s likely you’re not the only one. A few minutes with a keyboard and an internet connection may be able to connect you with other consumers facing the same recall and help you share information on the issue. Often you will find a discussion going on right here at US Recall News.

Last but not least…
Bookmark this page and use the quick links below to easily search for information on the latest recalls:

Auto Recalls
Product Recalls
Toy Recalls
Food Recalls
Drug Recalls

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Everett Sizemore is the owner and Editor of US Recall News: He is dedicated to educating people about consumer safety, social activism and corporate responsibility by bringing information to Americans about the products they use every day.

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