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How companies decide when to recall a product

Consumers in Hawaii may face unexpected risks when they buy common household products. Toys, furniture and even supplements can be defective, poorly made or dangerous. Some well-known product recalls make the news, especially when serious injuries or fatalities are involved, but many consumers don't know much about the process that companies use to determine when to issue a recall.

When companies learn of a problem with a product, they may weigh several factors before deciding whether to publicly issue a recall, including their responsibility for potential product liability lawsuits. The brand's image is a complex factor in these calculations; a company that does not issue recalls may be the target of consumer anger and mistrust for a long time to come. Consumers expect companies to take responsibility for poorly made or hazardous products.

Of course, the level of effect on safety is one of the key factors corporations consider when determining whether to issue a recall. Risks of fatalities or serious injuries could prompt a faster recall notice. A fast recall can be expensive, but it can also be more effective than other methods in removing a serious health hazard from the market. While some companies decide to issue a recall themselves, called a voluntary recall, government agencies may have to step in and press a corporation to remove potentially dangerous goods from the market.

Consumers expect that when they purchase goods in the market, they're getting only what they've asked for. Sometimes, however, people can wind up with dangerous ingredients or poor construction that lead to major injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help an injured consumer pursue a products liability claim for their damages.

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