Conducting a recall
The CASP 2020 Corrective Action Guide offers guidance and information for businesses on product recalls and other corrective actions.
Recommendations for business when announcing recall actions
To ensure that as many consumers as possible become aware of the recall the business should consider communicating to consumers who have purchased the affected products. The announcement of a recall should be strongly worded, inform consumers to stop using the product and clearly identified as an urgent communication.
Contacting consumers individually
When alerting consumers to a dangerous product and of the product’s recall, the business should primarily attempt to contact consumers on an individual basis. If the business maintains a loyalty customer system or other customer register for communication or marketing purposes, the company can use these electronic contact channels for individual communication on the recall. This information can also be communicated by post.
If the business is unable to individually contact all consumers who have purchased the product, the company can consider carrying out effective public communication on the matter.
The business should consider media publications on the recall. The media publication should contain the same information as the notice of recall. The notice can be placed in the press and/or electronic media that may be assumed to be the most comprehensive in reaching the affected consumers.
The business should provide the CCPC with information on the media in which the notice has been published or otherwise covered in the news. Media refers to, for example, a newspaper, online media or social media. It is not enough to report to the CCPC that the information has been distributed to the media.
In addition, public communication could be carried out in all of the following channels:
- if the company has a website, the notice of recall can be published on the website in a prominent position and in a clearly visible manner for an indefinite period, unless all consumers who have purchased the product can be contacted before this
- if the company has retail outlets or showrooms, the notice of recall can be published in these in a clearly visible manner for an indefinite period, unless all consumers who have purchased the product can be contacted before this
- if the company has supplied the product to distributors, it may ask that the distributors publish the notice of recall in their retail outlets and websites
- if the company has social media channels or newsletters, the notice of product recall can also be published via these channels
If the company’s communication is not sufficiently comprehensive, the CCPC may direct the business to take additional communication measures.
Content and format of a recall notice
A good and clear recall notice:
- draws attention, stands out clearly from advertisements and is large enough
- has the word “RECALL” in the heading. If a different measure is involved, this can be described in the heading, such as “IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE”
- includes a picture and identifying information of the product, such as the trade name or brand, model, batch or serial number, rating plate, or similar
- states clearly what kind of a risk the product may pose and why; for example: too long cords in the head and neck area of small children’s hoodies may pose a risk of choking
- includes clear instructions for consumers on how to act; for example: stop using the product immediately/take the product away from the reach of children and return it to the place of purchase
- includes a phone number or online contact information
A business can use the recall notice template when posting a recall notice to consumers.
Information about the product
The following information helps to identify the product and avoid confusion with other, safe products being sold:
- trade name and model of the product
- serial or batch number
- information on where the serial number is located
- the colour and size of the product as well as other identifying information
- the time when and places where the product has been sold. If the product has several retail locations, the notice can refer to a list published on a website, for example.
What to do
- a good and effective recall notice provides information about the risk posed by the product and clear instructions to consumers and other end users on how to act
- the notice states what kind of a risk the product poses. A simple “safety defect” is not informative enough
- the notice tells people to stop using the product immediately
- the notice informs consumers about the right to return the product or other similar measures that can be taken to remove the risk posed by the product, such as repairs (if this is possible). A time limit cannot be set for the measures