‘One Billion’: Safety Recalls Reach Record Levels, Putting Lives At Risk (What To Do About Dangerous Products)

September 14, 2022 | Article by Chain | Cohn | Clark staff | Tips & Information

‘One Billion’: Safety Recalls Reach Record Levels, Putting Lives At Risk (What To Do About Dangerous Products)

The number of products recalled in the United States this year has reached 1 billion, on track to break an annual record while at the same time putting countless lives at risk.

Products recalled passed 1 billion in August, according to a report by Sedgwick, which tracks recall data across multiple industries. Only two other years on record have seen more than 1 billion units recalled: 2018 and 2021. In those years, it took a full year to reach that number. This year is expected to be record-breaking for product recalls by number of units.

A product recall is a process that regulators, manufacturers, and retailers use to retrieve defective or potentially unsafe products from consumers and give them compensation. Items recalled through August include 124,000 units of a paddle for a stand-up paddleboard due to risks of puncture and laceration, 28,550 units of a ridable children’s toy that can tip forward and cause injury, and of course recalls of powdered infant formula and Jif peanut butter that made headlines nationally.

Experts believe a variety of industries — automotive, consumer products, food and beverage, medical devices and pharmaceutical — continue to face challenges from increased regulatory scrutiny and ongoing public health issues.

Among the findings from the Sedgwick report:

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration listed 18 recalled products, mostly for potential contaminations.
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listed 689 recalls through Aug. 18, including vehicle components that might be faulty, such as an improperly welded airbag cover that might increase the risk of injury if the airbag deploys.
  • Children’s safety continues to be a priority for regulators of the consumer product industry. Harmful chemicals are rising to the top of regulators’ and litigators’ list. Infant food recalls continue to have a lasting impact on the food and beverage industry.
  • Enforcement also continues on the pharmaceutical industry, with Food and Drug Administration issuing warning letters for products containing cannabis and banning the sale of an e-cigarette company’s products.
  • In addition, the number of recalled products from automobiles has virtually exploded this year, reports highlight.

“Some of these products have caused severe injuries and deaths,” said Matt Clark, accident and injury attorney at Chain | Cohn | Clark. “Be especially careful in buying second-hand products, especially those for infants and children — a child’s life could depend on it. The risk is too high.”

Second-hand products also can be problematic In many cases, products are recalled because of potential safety risks. While those products are generally pulled from retail store shelves, consumers purchasing used cars or trucks and shopping at thrift stores should be aware that some recalled products could have slipped through the cracks.

In the case of used cars and trucks, an automaker will contact the owner of record when there is a recall. But if the car has changed hands several times, the current owner may be unaware.



As described above, a product recall is a process that regulators, manufacturers, and retailers use to retrieve defective or potentially unsafe products from consumers and give them compensation. The agencies that oversee recalls, such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, maintain detailed rules and regulations. These agencies collect consumer complaints and conduct their own research. If a manufacturer is aware of a safety issue with a product, they must report it to the appropriate agency. When the agencies see a need to recall a product, they typically provide manufacturers an opportunity to do it voluntarily. Then the agencies and the company develop a plan for corrective action. If a company does not agree to a voluntary recall, agencies can order a mandatory recall, but they are not common.

Here are a few recall tips to keep in mind:

  • Car buyers should check the National Highway Safety Administration’s recall database to determine if the vehicle has open recalls.
  • Thrift store shoppers should also be mindful that second-hand products may be subject to recalls.
  • Before using a second-hand product it is wise to Google the name of the product, followed by the word “recall,” to determine if it is subject to a recall. Quick and easy.
  • If you believe a product is unsafe, you may report the information to the relevant agency.
  • If you have been injured or gotten sick from a recalled product, you may sue based on standard products liability law.
  • One good resource is Shep the Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit media organization that monitors threats to consumer health, safety, and security. Shep maintains a weekly “Recall Roundup” that highlights some of the week’s important actions.
  • Another way to keep up is to sign up for email alert services offered by four of the primary agencies that handle recalls: the CPSC, the FDA, the NHTSA, and the Department of Agriculture.

Lastly, knowing what to do if you’re injured by a recalled product is the first step toward potentially getting compensation for your injuries. Here are steps to take following a product injury:

  • Get medical attention right away. Seeing a doctor is necessary for your own well-being and it also ensures that your injuries from the faulty product are documented.
  • Take photographs to build an evidence file. Take photos of the defective product and your injuries if they are noticeable.
  • Document what happened. Sometimes memory grows fuzzy so, as soon as possible, write down how the injury happened. Include where you bought the product and the date if you remember it.
  • Keep the defective product as evidence, if possible. Also, hold on to the packaging and any instructions that came with it.
  • Also, consider speaking with an attorney with experience in handling product injury cases. Manufacturers have high-priced law firms working for them to help them avoid paying compensation in product injury cases. You stand a better chance of being successful in a recalled product injury claim if you have an experienced attorney on your side.


If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form, text, or chat with us at chainlaw.com.