Product recalls are serious business. Companies do not want to appear negligent, so they will usually not recall a product unless there is significant evidence of risks of injury or even death for consumers. It is important to be aware of any recalls in the news to heed the warnings when an item is recalled.
Because these recalls are so serious, they get quite a bit of attention from the press. People remember defective products long after they are taken off the market. Some product recalls are so extensive or serious that they are remembered for years. Time.com wrote an article a few years ago about the Top 10 most notable recalls. Many of them are still clear in our memory today.
- Infantino Baby Slings— In March 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled Infantino baby slings because they were linked to the suffocation and death of three babies. Parents across the United States were outraged.
- Toyota Sudden Acceleration—In January 2010, Toyota recalled 4.1 million vehicles that were in danger of sudden acceleration due to faulty brake pedals. In November of the same year, another 5.3 million cars were recalled because of poorly fitting floor mats. These were stuck under the gas pedals and caused sudden acceleration. The safety of Toyota was questioned by many consumers that year.
- Simplicity Drop-side Cribs— In July 2009, the CPSC recalled over 400,000 cribs manufactured in China after an 8-month old infant was suffocated due to faulty operation of the drop-side feature. A total of 1.6 million cribs were recalled for the same problem in three separate recalls.
- Beef— In February 2008, the Department of Agriculture recalled 143 million pounds of beef produced by a California slaughterhouse due to contamination concerns. No injuries or illnesses were reported in the end.
- Baby Formulas Containing Melamine— In 2008, over 700 tons of baby formula made by largest producer of milk powder in China were recalled because of the presence of melamine. Melamine was determined to be the cause of death for one infant and the cause of kidney problems for more than 50 other infants.
- Peanuts— In 2008, a recall of peanuts from one Georgia processing plant was issued after a federal investigation uncovered unhealthy conditions in the plant. The peanut products were linked to hundreds of individuals contracting salmonella and the possible death of four people.
- Vioxx— In 2004, the arthritis drug Vioxx was voluntarily recalled by its maker Merck worldwide after a study linked use of the drug to heart attacks and strokes. The company later settled 27,000 lawsuits for $4.85 billion with individuals who were injured or died from using Vioxx.
- Bridgestone/ Firestone Tires— In 2000, 6.5 million Firestone tires were recalled because of various failures that caused 175 deaths and more than 700 injuries.
- Extra-Strength Tylenol—In 1982, seven Chicago-area people died from taking potassium cyanide-laced Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules. The product was immediately recalled nationwide. The tragedy set Johnson & Johnson back millions of dollars and sparked the creation of future standards for tamper-proof packaging.
- Ford Pintos— In 1978, Ford recalled 1.5 million Pinto vehicles to fix the problems related to explosions. Despite concerns emerging during production that a rear-end collision could cause these models to explode due to the positioning of the fuel tank, Ford decided to risk the lawsuits and released the cars anyway. Lawsuits and criminal charges were filed, but Ford was never found guilty.
In recent years, we have seen further recalls that may later overshadow some of these cases, but even a small recall can have serious consequences for the victims. If you have been injured by a faulty product, whether it has been recalled or not, you may deserve compensation for your injuries. Contact the offices of Van Sant Law, today for a free consultation to discuss your options.