What to do if you are worried about a product safety recall?

Around 400 products are recalled every year but only 10-20% of recalled products are actually returned. That’s because so few of us ever hear that a product in our home could be dangerous.

A manufacturer must communicate with the owners of the product to the extent it is practicable to do so...

If a manufacturer has uncovered problems with a product’s safety, they are required by law to contact their local trading standards authority and make arrangements for the return of all affected products. The law says a manufacturer must communicate with the owners of the product to the extent it is practicable to do so and they have to publish a notice in such form and such manner as is likely to bring to the attention of purchasers of the product the risk the product poses and the fact of the recall.

However, there are steps that you can take to ensure you have a better chance of hearing about a recall.

  • If you have concerns about the safety of a product you own, you should first check on the manufacturer’s website directly to see if a product recall has been issued, or contact your local trading standards.


  • There are also other product recall websites that allow you to search the most recent product recalls, by date or product type, such as Recall UK or the Electrical Safety Council.


  • For car & vehicle recalls visit the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) government agency website and for food & drugs it’s the Food Standards Agency (FSA).


  • The “General Product Safety Regulations 2005” dictates that manufacturers must make arrangements for the collection and/or return of the product for destruction from consumers who have purchased the product.


  • Finally, if you buy a domestic appliance – big or small – it’s a good idea to register your details with the company. That way if there is a recall, they’ll be able to find you.

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