Protecting Yourself Against Defective Products

mangled bike

Last year was a record year for vehicle recalls. Already this year, Ford has announced a recall of nearly 400,000 Ranger pickups due to faulty airbags.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just announced a recall of Britax car seats.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues a new recall virtually every day.   As a consumer, how do you know if the products you and your family use are safe?  And what do you do if you get hurt by a defective product?

First, if you purchase a product new and it has a product registration card, fill it out and send it in. While a lot of recalls make the news, many do not.  By registering your product, the manufacturer has your contact information and, by law, must notify you personally in the event of a recall.

If your purchase a used vehicle, you can still register your contact information with the manufacturer and the same is true of many consumer products like fryers, bicycles, office chairs, toys, etc. Simply go online and see if you can register with the manufacturer so you are personally notified of any problems with the product.

Typically, recalls are only announced after consumers start reporting problems to the manufacturer or once a government agency such as the FDA or the NHTSA notices an accident or incident trend.  Therefore, if you experience a safety problem with a product, even if you do not get hurt, it is critical for you to report it.  Safety issues can be reported to the manufacturer or the appropriate government agency which will typically be either the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the FDA.  For your convenience: below are links for each:

Report a problem to the Consumer Product Safety Commission

Report a problem to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Report a problem to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

So, what do you do if you get hurt by a defective product? First and foremost, get the medical care you need for your injuries.  Second, take photos of the scene of the accident and the condition of the product as well as your injuries. Third, keep the product and do not alter it, attempt to repair it or use it again.  If the product was covered by insurance, such as a boat, car, motorcycle, etc., your insurance company may take possession of the product if it was a total loss and they have paid you for it.  Be sure to instruct your insurance carrier, in writing, to preserve the product until further notice from you or a lawyer.  Round up any manuals, installation instructions, warranties, receipts or other documents associated with the product.  Then, if you are seriously injured, contact our office for a free consultation.

One of our award-winning lawyers will review your accident, answer any questions you may have, determine if any recalls exist for the product and explain your legal options.  There is no charge for this consultation.  If we think we can help you and you decide to hire us, we will represent you on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if we recover money for your losses.  We have helped our satisfied clients recover millions and millions of dollars and we would like to help you too.  Simply give us a call anytime at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free from anywhere).  For more information on defective product claims, visit our website at



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