1 Billion United Were Recalled in 2021 in the U.S.Whether voluntary or mandatory, recalls are serious and time-sensitive. Recalls are issued when a product presents fault, risk of injury, or safety problems to a consumer. It is important to act quickly and efficiently to notify users of the warning or concern surrounding the recalled products. The most common recalls include medication, vehicles, food, cosmetics, safety seats, and toys.

What are recall notices?

A recall is an act of removing or correcting products that are dangerous, defective, or deceptive. When a product is recalled, a notice must be sent to consumers.

Voluntary recalls take place when the company or manufacturer corrects or removes a product from the market. A mandatory recall takes place when a product recall or removal is required by a government agency.

How many recalls are issued annually?

There are five major recall industries- automotive, consumer products, food and drink, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. According to Sedgwick, “a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions”, there were 2,560 total recalls in 2021 in the United States. Which, for several industries was the lowest number of recalls issued in the last five years.

While the number of recalls was down overall, the number of units affected surpassed 1 billion- the second highest year in the last decade with 2018 surpassing 1.2 billion units recalled.

To view the 2022 State of the Nation: Recall Index, click here.

What are the 3 types of recalls?

3 FDA Recall ClassificationsThe FDA classifies recalls into three categories, class I, class II, and class III.

Class I is the most serious and indicates a high probability of adverse health reactions or death correlated to the use of the recalled product.

Class II is less serious, but still indicates a high risk of reversible medical health concerns.

Lastly, Class III covered faulty products that are not likely to result in health concerns or have any risk of death or injury.

Do recall notices expire?

Recalls have no expiration date. This is specifically important in the automotive industry.

Consider an air bag recall is issued on a vehicle as it presents a safety risk in the event of a crash. If the owner of the vehicle at the time of the recall does not schedule an appointment to correct the safety defect and later sells the vehicle, the new owner will need to ensure that vehicle safety standards are met. Click here to check if your vehicle identification number (VIN), vehicle, tires, equipment, or car seats have any recalls.

While recalls do not expire, there is often a statute of limitations for free repairs. In the auto industry, the statute is typically 8 years from the time of the recall notice.

If you are not the original owner of the vehicle, it is wise to contact the customer support center of the manufacturer to identify yourself as the registered owner of the vehicle. They will update their records and this will ensure you are contacted if any safety recalls are issued in the future.

The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires auto manufacturers to issue recalls for vehicles or parts that do not meet their safety standards.

Complaints by vehicle owners can be made to the NHTSA when a vehicle owner experiences a problem. They will then investigate. Following an investigation, a recall is issued. Most often, recall repairs are issued voluntarily by the manufacturer and a remedy is offered to the motor vehicle owner.

How do I get notified of recalls?

There are many ways to inform the public of a recall. Television, social media, print, and radio are all effective ways of spreading the word to the public. However, the most effective way to directly reach customers is through Certified Mail®.

For example, if a vehicle manufacturer needs to inform customers of a seat belt recall, they can filter their records to show the customers who have purchased the car models that need repair. A similar example includes medical devices that have been issued by a physician. Since there are records of the device models that patients have, the manufacturers have the consumer information they need to mail a notice.

Recently, a recall was issued by J. M. Smucker Co., the parent company of JIF® peanut butter, for potential salmonella contamination in select products. The recall was broadcasted by media outlets and social media channels. Retailers posted notices for customers to see in their stores. Some retailers, such as Costco Wholesale, even mailed notification letters to customers they had records of purchasing affected products.

For a comprehensive list of recalls issued by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), USA.gov, the United States Coast Guard and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), click here.

The Importance of Certified Mail

According to the FDA, recall notices should be sent via Certified Mail as stated in chapter 7 of the Regulatory Procedures Manual.

“Recall communications should be sent in the most expeditious manner and commensurate with the hazard of the product being recalled, and, where appropriate, sent with proof of receipt (e.g., by certified mail). All communication methods related to the firm’s recall should be documented accordingly.”

When notices are mailed certified, the sender will receive 'proof of mailing', tracking information, as well as electronic delivery confirmation from the United States Postal Service.

Certified Mail may seem daunting, especially when recall notices must be sent to so many individuals, but it does not have to be. Skip the trip to the Post Office and save time and money with Certified Mail Labels!

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