Consumers Risk Dangerous Injuries When They Suffer From “Recall Fatigue”
March 5, 2014
Product recalls deserve to be taken seriously. Companies obviously would not go through the expense of recalling a product unless there was a real threat of injury, illness or damage to property. However, many federal regulators and consumer advocates are growing increasingly concerned that Americans are suffering from “recall fatigue.” They fear that with the ever-increasing recall of products consumers have simply stopped paying attention.
In 2011, there were 2,363 recalls in the United States, an average of about 6.5 each day. The recalled products varied from food and medicine to toys, household appliances and automobiles. In 2007, there were approximately 1,460 recalls. Recall fatigue isn’t exactly new. A 2009 study by Rutgers University revealed that 40 % of Americans don’t bother to search their homes for recalled products. An astounding 12% admitted to knowingly eating recalled food.
The growing inattention to product recalls has led retailers and government officials to find new ways to alert consumers to potentially dangerous products. Some try to contact customers directly. For example, warehouse chain Costco generally notifies customers within 24 hours if they have purchased a recalled product. As a result, it says that nearly 90% of recalled products are ultimately returned. However, Costco is a bit of an outlier – because it requires a membership card to make a purchase, the retailer is easily able to identify customers who have purchased recalled products.
Other retailers, along with government agencies like the Consumer Products Safety Commission, rely on a system of social media updates and news releases to get the word out. Consumers should pay attention to product recalls. In doing so, you help protect your family from illness or injury and avoid becoming a victim of defective or tainted products that may result in a products’ liability lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product or unsafe or dangerous equipment, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP. Our firm has a long history of obtaining substantial verdicts and settlements in all types of dangerous products cases. Call us today at 1.800.222.USWA or submit an online inquiry.