It may sound counter-intuitive, but having companies recall products is good for consumers. When a company recalls a product they are taking that product which they have found to be unsafe and taking it out of the publics hands. These companies are attempting to limit the liability and lessen the chance of corporate negligence.
The recent GM Recall, and in general, all company recalls occur due to product liability laws. The company will, in general, take all steps necessary to prevent all situations where the consumer would be injured from the use of their product or a defective product. The three main areas of product liability are; manufacturing defect, a design defect, or the failure to properly warn.
A manufacturing defect that could cause a product liability case is a door fridge missing a pivotal part for the door makes it to fall off. Product liability would not cover if the consumer mistreated the door. For example, if the owner would hang off the door, by having the door support his entire weight. Overtime due to the mistreatment, it may cause damage to the door and cause it to break off. This would not be a product liability case due to manufacturing as the door was not manufactured to support adult human weight.
A design defect that would cause a product liability case is where rechargeable batteries catch fire after a few uses. In this case, the product is being used as intended but the product’s design has caused it to be unsafe. The injury received from the product still must be caused due to the design error. For example, if you have defective batteries, yet they were ingested (eaten), this would not be a case of product liability. This is because the injury sustained was not due to the design flaw.
A failure to warn situation that would cause a product liability case is not placing sufficient instructions on the product. For example, if you use hair gel but after three consecutive days of use it causes hair to fall out. The product label does not warn the customer that hair loss can occur after three days could be the cause for a product liability case. However, if the label noted this possible side effect and warned the customer to wash out the gel out of hair daily, the consumer would have difficulty with a product liability case.
Product liability laws protect us all due to companies feel the need to self police themselves. If a company is being sued due to faulty products they lose consumer confidence. After the consumer confidence has left the company has little left. If you have a question regarding product liability ask one of our attorneys at KS Law!