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What are the different types of product recalls?

Types of Product Recalls

A variety of different products may be recalled from the U.S. market. The federal government provides information on various recalled products at www.recalls.gov. Product recalls fall into six general categories:

  • Consumer Product Recall
  • Motor Vehicle Recall
  • Boat Recall
  • Food Recall
  • Medicine Recall
  • Cosmetics Recall
  • Environmental Product Recall

Our team at ASK LLP investigates a variety of different types of recalls. If you have been harmed by a recalled product, contact ASK LLP today.

U.S. Government Recalls

Six different federal agencies are involved in various types of U.S. Government recalls. They are:

  1. The Food & Drug Administration (U.S. FDA recall)
  2. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (U.S. CPSC recall)
  3. The Department of Agriculture (USDA food recall)
  4. The National Highway & Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA recall)
  5. The Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA recall)
  6. The United States Coast Guard (USCG boating recall)

Voluntary Recall vs. Mandatory Recall

A voluntary recall is typically issued by the company that made the product. Voluntary recalls may come from product manufacturers, distributors, food processors, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, or the auto industry. They may be issued from the federal government and its agencies.

A mandatory recall is issued by the U.S. government. Different government agencies may be involved, such as the USDA, FDA, EPA, CPSC, or NHTSA.

Class I Recall

Certain recalls may include classifications. A Class I Recall is the most serous type of recall. It means that the FDA has determined that there is a significant or immediate danger of death or serious injury from the use of the product. The FDA describes a Class I Recall as “a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.” https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/postmarket-requirements-devices/recalls-corrections-and-removals-devices

A Class I Recall includes a plan for the manufacturer to remove the product from the market. Alerts are issued to consumers, distributors, and stores to remove the product.

If you have a product that is part of a Class I Recall and it harmed you or a loved one, contact ASK LLP for a free case evaluation.

Class II Recall

A Class II Recall is also a serious recall. These recalls are slightly less serious than a Class I Recall but still involve a product that has been determined to include a risk of death or serious injury. Such risk might not be immediate. The FDA describes a Class II Recall as “a situation in which use of, or exposure to, a violative product may cause temporary or medically reversible health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.” https://www.fda.gov/medical-de...

As with a Class I Recall, the FDA requires a plan for the manufacturer and consumers.

Class III Recall

A Class III Recall involves a dangerous product because of a violation of a certain regulation. The danger may not be imminent. Or the risk might not be health-related or obvious to some consumers. The FDA describes a Class III Recall as “a situation in which use of, or exposure to, a violative product is not likely to cause adverse health consequences.” https://www.fda.gov/medical-de...

For example, a Class III Recall might be issued for product that had particulate matter in it or had been tampered in some fashion.

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