Manufacturers issue Official Recall Notices to alert product owners and users to unsafe, hazardous or defective products. Recall information is communicated by mail, the media and word of mouth.
How did you react to the latest recall information you received on a product you either own or use? Do you recall ?(yes, pun intended) Was your reaction, “Yeah, yeah, yeah what are they recalling now?”
You should realize that failing to promptly take the recommended action can be dangerous and can needlessly put people and property at risk. In some situations it can even become a liability issue for you personally.
How does this pertain to State government and you? The State owns thousands of vehicles, hundreds of boats and millions of dollars worth of assets any of which can be affected by a product recall. For example, here are some recalls issued in August of 2006:
* Faulty pumps for fire suppression systems
* Vessel fuel tanks
* Laptop computer batteries
* Floor cleaner and stripper products
* Certain food products
* Vehicle, tire and car seats
Each and every one of these recalls could potentially relate to a product owned, used or consumed by the State or by you. Complicating the recall process are the thousands of employees in State government. As you can imagine, getting the word out to each and every product user is difficult. If you get word of a recall, be sure to take approriate action and not leave the recall for the next person to act on it.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Before the purchase:
* Avoid no-name products, commonly found in dollar and discount stores. A manufacturer name and address is not a guarantee of safety, but it means that you or the authorities can track down a legitimate corporation to remedy problems.
* Check the warning label. Be cautious of products where the label conflicts with information elsewhere on the packaging.
* Be cautious of extraordinary bargains. Products that are far less expensive than comparable products sold elsewhere could be cheap because they are counterfeit made with inferior or inappropriate material or are otherwise defective.
* If you shop at yard sales or thrift stores, check to see that your purchases, especially electrical appliances, children’s toys, car seats or furniture haven’t been recalled.
* Buy only certified electrical products. Underwriters Laboratories marks must generally be tagged or embossed right on the product.
* Don’t overlook permanently installed products. For example, counterfeit circuit breakers, part of a structure’s infrastructure, are a growing problem, experts say. Buying such products through an authorized dealer is one way to minimize the risk.
After the purchase
* Promptly complete the warranty card and mail it in. Should a recall be issued on that product, this will improve your chances of directly receiving the notice.
* When notified of a recall issue by a State program manager, promptly take the recommended action. Central Fleet Management tells our office that letters notifying drivers of vehicle recall issues are routinely ignored and multiple follow ups are required on their part. Don’t be guilty of this and add to the problem. Getting recalled parts replaced will keep your vehicle in the best and safest working condition. It is your responsibility as a State driver!
* Report a problem product - you may not be alone in having a problem. Early warning on unsafe products is important and may eventually lead to an official recall.
* For the very latest product safety recall information, visit www.Recalls.gov. Make it a point to periodically check this site. To better alert the American people to recalls, six federal agencies with vastly different jurisdictions have joined together to create this web site a “one stop shop” for recalls. These six agencies are: the U.S. Consumer Product Commission, the National Highway Traffic safety Administration, the United States Coast Guard, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
It is an unsafe world we live in. Manage the risks that you CAN control. Recalls are one of these manageable risks.