When consumers in Montana purchase goods, they do not often consider the possibility that the product that they just bought could cause them harm. However, an error made during the design process, manufacturing or selling phase could result in a product malfunctioning, being improperly used or even becoming contaminated. This could result in a seemingly harmless product to turn into a dangerous or defective product. When this occurs, products are either entirely or partially recalled.

In order to understand whether a consumer might have purchased a recalled product, it is important that consumers are aware of the recall process and the different types of product recalls. Having a better understanding of this could better prepare consumers to properly respond to the recall, allowing them to protect their health and safety.

The first type of recall is a food and drug related recall. Both the USDA and FDA enforce recalls related to items consumers could ingest, with the exception of alcohol and shellfish. These recalls are put into three types of classes. Class I recalls involve products such as defective drugs or contaminated food that could seriously harm or even kill consumers. Class II includes products that could harm consumers but are medically treatable. Lastly, class III involves products that violate legal regulations or have misleading packaging.

Vehicle related recalls are the second type of product recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration enforces these types of recalls. Two types of consumer complaints are considered when determining whether to make a recall — severely dangerous issues or a large number of complaints for a similar problem.

The last type of recall is considered a catchall category, which addresses products that do not fit into the other two categories. The Consumer Product Safety Commission handles these recalls and a recall is initiated when a consumer files a complaint or a company reaches out to the agency directly to report a defective or dangerous product.

In order to promote consumer safety, unsafe products are recalled. Despite the efforts to reduce the impacts a dangerous or defective product could cause, a recall does not prevent all consumer injuries. Those harmed by a recalled product should consider the options available to them. A products liability claim could help the injured consumer cover expenses such as medical bills, lost wages and other related losses and damages.

Source: Lifehacker.com, “The Three Major Types of Product Recalls and How They’re Different,” Heather Yamada-Hosley, June 15, 2015