A product can be recalled or removed from the market if it’s defective or potentially harmful to the user, or because it violates a mandatory safety standard. The problem may be discovered by the manufacturer who would voluntarily recall the product, or due to concerns raised through the government. In the United States, there are six federal agencies with different jurisdictions to protect the consumer from unsafe and hazardous products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is mandated to oversee more than 15,000 kinds of consumer products used by the citizens, among them sports and exercise products.
Through this jurisdiction, the CPSC is able to protect the public from possible risks of injury, death, or property damage that may be caused by a product. It is estimated the U.S suffers a loss of approximately $1 trillion annually due to damage caused by consumer product incidents cost.
Apart from the defects being identified by the manufacturer or other government organs, the consumers should also take it upon themselves to identify products that are likely to cause harm and check with authorities about their safety.
CPSC recommends that once a product is recalled, a consumer should stop using it and follow the specific guidance in recall announcement. Even when you learn of the recall after a long period of time, the CPSC says there is no end date to a product recall and the product should be returned to ensure secure a replacement, or product repairs.
Not all recalls translates into refunds and the remedy for consumers is described in each recall announcement made by the CPSC. Other products may only need to be repaired or replaced. In most instances, stores will have a return and refund policy when a manufacturer announces a recall of its product.
In sports/exercise products CPSC requires the manufacturer to attach or include an instruction manual in the packaging. The instruction manual should details how the product is operated and the instruction about safety, and how it should be properly assembled, and how to maintain it.
You can learn about a recall by either subscribing to e-mail alerts by CPSC which are sent at the end of each business day. Follow the agency on twitter, @OnSafety, where it posts most recalls at the same time it posts the details on its online portal. Other methods you can receive the information is by subscribing to their RSS feed using your email address and an RSS reader. For more information visit CPSC.gov or SaferProducts.gov where you can also access safety materials for free and many of them are available in hard copy in different languages.
You can also learn about a recall from the manufacturer website, where you can find useful information about all their product recalls although some not all companies may post this information due to the negative impact it may have on future sales.