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Looking at the relationship between product recalls and product liability, P.1

Product recalls are not at all an uncommon occurrence in the automobile industry. Though some recalls involve more serious issues than others, recalls occur fairly regularly. Whenever there is a problem that could cause harm to consumers, the ideal is that recalls are issued to address the problem before serious injuries to a consumer occurs.

At the federal level, there are various rules which govern product recalls, and these rules are laid out in the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recall Handbook. Manufacturers, and other parties in the stream of commerce, are bound by specific reporting requirements and must follow certain rules in coming up with corrective action plans and in executing recalls.

Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of automobiles are obligated under federal law to report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission when they become aware of defects which present a substantial hazard to consumers, or which create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. This means they have an ongoing duty to notify consumers of defects after the sale of a product.

Under Kentucky law, manufacturers and other parties in the stream of commerce may be held liable for defects which are the subject of a product recall. In addition, when an automobile manufacturer issues a recall, its negligence in handling the recall can result in additional liability. For this reason, manufacturers have to be cautious in how they handle product recalls. Putting consumers at further risk could mean they face additional fault.

In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this topic, and the importance of working with an experienced Kentucky products liability attorney when pursuing compensation for automobile defects.


Kentucky Revised Statutes, Section 400.300-411.350

Consumer Product Safety Commission, Recall Handbook, March 2012.