Jeff Baum

A product recall occurs when a company has sold a product that is deemed defective or a safety hazard and is then responsible for pulling the product off the market and fixing it or removing it altogether, at the cost of the company. Recalls occur for products that could cause serious injury, illness, or death, or those that violate regulatory requirements. When there is global presence, a company’s reputation in the marketplace might be irreparable – although not impossible – to save. The company also typically reimburses affected consumers and can often be part of resulting lawsuits.

Many reputable companies still find themselves victim of product recalls. Using a product consulting expert like Testing Partners can help you double check safety concerns to minimize the risk of recall occurring.

How can a company unknowingly manufacture defective products if they are obtaining the proper regulatory testing and certifications? These days, with manufacturing, building and assembly of one product taking place in numerous factories at various global locations, the same quality assurance practices might not be occurring consistently throughout the supply chain. By the time the finished product makes it to the consumer, it is too late to make changes.

Quality Checks

The larger the company, the more factories are employed to build product, and the more locations are involved in the making of the same product, a higher the number of quality assurance inspections should also be performed, spanning the entire supply chain. Every time a product change occurs, no matter how minor, additional quality checks should be made in order to minimize risk of recall. If manufacturers are not controlling every aspect of the process with direct oversight, there is greater room for supply chain problems such as cost-cutting measures to components and parts, which, as minor as it might seem, makes a difference in quality assurance.

Avoiding Product Recalls

While avoiding product recalls isn’t 100% guaranteed, they can definitely be avoided by establishing manufacturing processes that ensure continued compliance with not only manufacturer specifications, but to regulatory standards requirements.

Performing pre-compliance review at the earliest stages (even during the product design phase) sets a manufacturer up for success. It can save the manufacturer time spent in the lab, money spent on unnecessary tests, and money lost from product recalls resulting from inadequate safety testing. It gives an overview of the regulatory testing standards that will directly apply to the product based on schematics and photos. Following approval of the review, a product construction plan will determine if the product will be capable of passing the required tests based on regulatory requirements and analysis of the product itself. This provides a specific path in the lab that minimizes the risk of test failure. Test failure often occurs because the product wasn’t properly prepared for the required tests.

Whose Responsibility?

The responsibility of product safety and quality assurance typically falls on the manufacturer. However, some countries require the regulatory compliance certificate to be in the name of the local importer, or in the name of an authorized or local representative, and that person is legally responsible for recalls or product safety issues. The manufacturer’s overall reputation in the marketplace could be directly impacted, and any resulting legal battles or fines could be to the detriment of the manufacturer or the importer.

Final Thoughts

Obtaining pre-compliance review, a solid construction plan, testing to the appropriate regulatory standards, global certifications and regular quality assurance checks greatly minimizes the risk of product recall. Skipping important steps in the complete process might get your product to market faster, but increases the risk of product recall.

Contact Testing Partners today to discuss a pre-compliance plan that will set your product, and company, on a path through successful testing and certification. Gain confidence knowing you meet all regulatory requirements for local and global market access. Give your customers confidence in your product and your company. Call (862) 243-2329 or email

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