Does a recall mean you can’t sue over a defective product?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2021 | Uncategorized

Defective products come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, the company fails to adequately test a product before releasing it to the public, meaning it doesn’t catch major issues. Other times, they may receive defective components or subpar materials that mean that a specific production batch doesn’t meet the standards usually upheld by the company’s products. 

Anything from faulty software to packaging issues can cause dangerous defects that hurt or even kill consumers. Most companies even carry special insurance to protect against such liability. 

If a business that manufactured a product that injured you has since issued a recall, does that absolve them of all liability for the losses you suffered?

A recall does not protect a company from product liability claims

Product recalls happen all the time for different reasons, but they all generally fall into two categories:

  • A voluntary recall starts because a manufacturer finds out about an issue and reaches out to consumers, retailers or even federal regulatory agencies to notify people about the need to return, repair or simply stop using a defective product. 
  • Involuntary recalls occur when a company doesn’t take action and instead regulatory agencies announce the recall. 

Neither scenario fully protects the company from its responsibility to injured consumers. Although a consumer ignoring a recall might hurt their claim against a business in court, companies often don’t take aggressive enough steps to notify customers affected by defective products or invest enough money to quickly repair or replace affected products. 

A recall might even help your case by showing that the company knew about the issues and had a direct causative relationship to the injury or property damage you suffered. When you understand what effect a recall has on your rights after getting hurt by a defective product, you can make more informed decisions.