The product recall process is intended to keep consumers safe from defective or dangerous products. It is further intended to accomplish the goal of consumer safety by removing defective or dangerous products from the distribution chain and the hands of consumers or to ensure the defective or dangerous products are repaired. Since 1966, the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration has issued over 17,000 recalls, impacting 500 million vehicles and greater than 84 million pieces of equipment.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012, 17.8 million vehicles, vehicle equipment parts, and child safety seats were impacted by 650 recalls filed by manufacturers. The recall process involves investigations, which also include the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, which may, ultimately, result in recalls of unsafe products. The NHTSA focuses on automobile-related recalls to keep consumers safe. From 2010 to 2013, investigations resulted in 430 recalls that impacted 22 million vehicles and products.
While consumers may expect that the products they have in their homes and possession are safe to use, this is not always the case. Automobile defects can be particularly dangerous and can cause significant harm and injuries to consumers. Consumer complaints oftentimes may initiate investigations that result in recalls. At times, however, consumers are injured or otherwise harmed by defective or dangerous products, including automobiles and automobile products, and suffer damages as a result. Because of this, the legal process seeks to also offer protection to victims.
Victims harmed by dangerous or defective products, including automobiles and automobile parts, may be able to bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim for damages, depending on the circumstances. Consumers harmed by defective or dangerous products can suffer physical, financial, and emotional harms that may, at times, require compensation.