Unfortunately, some products cause unforeseen danger to the public. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is thus tasked with protecting the public “against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products.” 15 U.S.C. § 2051(a)(3). The CPSC has the authority to mandate corrective actions, better known as “recalls,” of consumer products that present a substantial hazard to the public. Recalls generally involve notice to the public and some sort of remedial offering, such as repair, replacement, or a refund.
Product recalls are common. In 2016 alone, 900 million items were recalled. Despite this massive number, recalls often have inadequate results. However, new mechanisms will likely improve the outlook of recalls in the future.