Product safety: product recalls
Information for consumers.
If there is a problem with the safety of a product, its manufacturer is responsible for making arrangements for its repair, replacement or refund. These include contacting the people who have purchased it where possible and publishing a notice drawing attention to the risk the product poses and what the manufacturer is doing to remedy the issue. While around 400 products are recalled each year, only between 10-20% of them are actually returned by consumers. Many people remain unaware that certain products in their homes are potentially unsafe (hazardous).
There are various ways you can learn about product recalls:
1 Check out your products online
A search tool covering electrical appliances recalled since 2007 is provided by Electrical Safety First.
A search tool covering vehicles and vehicle components recalled since 1992 is provided by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
A search tool covering food items recalled since 2014 is provided by the Food Standards Agency.
A search tool covering a range of products recalled since 2000 is provided by the UK Association of Fire Investigators.
A list of recent product recalls is provided by the Chartered Institute of Trading Standards.
A global portal containing information on product recalls issued by governments around the world is provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
2 Register electrical appliances when you buy them
When a manufacturer knows you have purchased one of its products and has your contact details, it can tell you about a recall.
You can register with manufacturers directly, or use the register my appliance service provided by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances. This is supported by BEIS and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and enables you to be automatically informed of product recalls or safety alerts.
3 Take action for peace of mind
If you have any concerns about the safety of a product you own, check the manufacturer’s website to see if a recall has been issued.