When to recall a product
A product recall may be required if goods have been supplied that will or may cause injury to any person or contravene an unsafe goods notice or prescribed product safety standard.
When to consider a recall
If there are reported injuries or safety concerns related to a product, or if a product falls short of a safety or quality standard, you may need to launch a product recall to advise consumers that there's a problem and offer them a suitable remedy.
Gather information and assess
If you become aware of a potential defect with one of your products that may make it unsafe, or if you have been advised of an injury involving a product, you should do the following:
- Gather and assess all the available information. This may require talking to:
- customers who have complained or raised concerns
- other businesses involved with the product who may have received complaints
- Investigate reported injuries to see how and why they happened, and what steps could be taken to prevent them happening again.
- Arrange for independent testing of the product.
- Identify the products involved – batch numbers, production dates, quantities etc.
- Locate the goods – warehouses, retailers, customers.
- Assess the hazard and likelihood of injury.
The affected product may need to be quarantined in the supply chain to contain the issue and stop it spreading further. The more serious the hazard and likelihood of injury, the sooner this should be done. You can start quarantining a product while you're still investigating an issue.
Contact us to discuss
Contact us if you want to discuss the safety issue and/or your recall action plan.
We'll need to know:
- the nature of the fault or injury
- the product affected
- what measures you intend to take, or have taken already.
Possible reasons for a recall
Examples of problems or faults with products that could require a recall include:
- A fault in the product itself — for example, a manufacturing fault causes a weld on a bicycle to fail and the bicycle collapses while it is being ridden.
- Failure to meet a mandatory standard or unsafe goods notice, such as:
- a prescribed Product Safety Standard
- an Unsafe Goods Notice made under the Fair Trading Act
- an Electrical Safety Standard cited under electrical safety legislation.
- A problem or fault with the packaging — for example, a cap on a bottle of household cleaner that doesn't fit properly and can be easily opened by children, or labelling that omits vital safety information.
- An injury caused by the use of a product — for example a mug that shatters when filled with hot liquid.
- Inadequate instructions — for example, instructions which omit safety processes or which are difficult to follow. This could include:
- poor instructions on how to safely assemble a product sold in kitset form, especially if the instructions have been poorly translated for an imported product
- poor advice on how the product should safely be used.