Voluntary Recalls

52 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2016


The voluntary recall of a defective product, whereby a manufacturer or seller encourages purchasers to return a defective item, looks like a much happier phenomenon than what it fends off: injury for the buyer, liability for the seller, burdens on regulators. Acknowledging these advantages, this Article reviews other aspects of the voluntary-recall fix. First, the term recall has no consistent definition or usage in the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations. Second, product recalls are not really voluntary: sellers and buyers alike do not make informed, uncoerced choices to participate in this remedy. The Article concludes with two sets of recommendations to reform the law of product recalls, the first modest and the second ambitious.

Keywords: recalls, recall fatigue, products liability, product safety, Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Food and Drug Administration, consumer, Vioxx

Suggested Citation

Bernstein, Anita, Voluntary Recalls. University of Chicago Legal Forum, Vol. 2013, p. 359, 2013; Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 433. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2722133

Anita Bernstein (Contact Author)

Brooklyn Law School ( email )

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States

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