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What to do if your products are recalled

Two wooden blocks with the words product recall on them

You’ve probably seen some famous product recalls over the years, such as the infamous Tylenol recall in the 1980s or the Peloton recalls that seem to happen every few years. Often, you’ll hear of car parts and electronics being recalled, or even food—like a strawberry recall. But what should you do if you bought something that becomes part one of these major product recalls?

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Why do products get recalled?

Most often, a product recall will happen for one of two reasons:

  1. Safety concerns
  2. Quality malfunctions

Companies may observe a defect in a specific lot number of a product as a result of an error in manufacturing, parts, or even cross contamination in the case of food and beef recalls.

Either way, you should take recalls seriously, as it means that continuing your operations or consumption of that item can lead to harm or injury. Companies only tend to issue recalls when it’s absolutely necessary, since it can have a negative impact on their subsequent sales, performance, and stock price—so when they do, it’s wise to listen.

Steps to take if you think your product was recalled

So, you have an item that was recalled. Now what? Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Don’t panic. Panicking will only drive up your anxiety, and if you haven’t already suffered damages from the product, it’s likely that simply ceasing to use it will protect you from any issue.
  2. Check the details of the recall. When a company makes an announcement, they know that recalled products should be separated from all other products via identification numbers, dates, or lot numbers, so that consumers can clearly figure out if their product is subject to the concerns. So, if you see a headline about air bags or milk, don’t jump to conclusions before you read the fine print.
  3. Cross reference serial numbers. Check the serial number, lot number, or other signifying features of your item and see if it falls within the specified recall. If it does, follow the next steps.
  4. Don’t eat the food or operate the appliance. If your item was recalled, avoid using or consuming the product to protect your own health. Follow detailed instructions about whether you are supposed to seek advice in advance of an issue, contact the company, or other suggestions. Each recall has its own guidelines, so you there is no one size fits all approach.
  5. Follow instructions for repair. For food, they will likely instruct you to throw out your items. If you are a restaurant owner, for example, you will likely be able to return your product and get a replacement from a distributor. For your car, they may suggest you bring it to an authorized dealer to get parts replaced. For electronics or appliances like air fryer recalls, the same advice may hold. As we mentioned, each recall has its own set of instructions created to protect your health and safety.

Product protection can help with your purchases

If you want to protect your purchases from damage and accidents beyond just recalls, subscribe to Mulberry Unlimited. You'll get coverage for accidents, wear and tear, liquid spills, cracked screens, and more for just $9.99 a month.

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Justin Smith

About the author

Justin Smith is the SEO Content Marketing Specialist at Mulberry. He has written about everything from stock market investing to electric vehicles, most recently for SuperMoney. Apart from optimizing the latest blog content and hunting for the perfect keywords, he also enjoys going on long runs.

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