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Everything you need to know about product safety recalls

A product safety recall or warning can seem like a pretty scary thing when it comes to your household appliances. If you’ve never come across one before it can be hard to know what to do for the best.

Well, that’s where we come in! Here is everything you need to know about a product safety recall. From exactly what it is and what to expect during the process to what your rights are when speaking to the manufacturer.

First, what exactly is a safety recall?

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According to Which?, ‘a safety recall is a request to return a product after a safety issue or defect has been found that could be dangerous.’

That means if a product is found to have a defect that could hinder performance, harm consumers or produce legal issues, a request to return the product for exchange or repair is sent out from the manufacturer.

How do I know if my appliance has been recalled?

If a manufacturer has your details as a result of your purchase or you have registered your appliance, the manufacturer will contact you directly to let you know about the recall. If not, the enforcement agency of the safety recall can tell the manufacturer to publicise the recall in newspapers or TV programmes, so you may find out about it from there.

You can also check yourself whether your appliances been recalled. Electrical Safety First has a list of electrical product recalls and has a list of household appliances recalled due to the risk of fire.<

What to do if your appliance has been recalled

If you are contacted by the manufacturer, they should tell you exactly what you need to do. It’s important to follow any information or instructions that are provided to you. If you have found your product has been recalled from the news or online, check the manufacturer’s website for any information or contact them directly. If you are concerned, it’s best to stop using the product immediately.

The process of a product recall can be different depending on the product. But, the manufacturer should provide you with the details including what they plan to do and give an idea of how long the process will take. They may arrange for the item to be collected, advise you on how to return it or send out an engineer to carry out a repair.

They may ask for a proof of purchase, usually a till receipt or a bank statement. If you are unable to provide this, go directly to the manufacturer. Having the item in your possession should be enough for them to still carry out the process of the recall.

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What to do if you are concerned about the safety of a product but it hasn’t been recalled

If you are concerned about the safety of your appliance but it has not yet been recalled, you can contact Citizens Advice. They may refer your complaint to the relevant local Trading Standards service, who may take further action.

Things to keep in mind

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  • Make sure your appliance is registered with the manufacturer. This means manufacturers can get in touch with you if your product has been recalled.
  • You should never be charged for any recall work such as repair, replacement or collection of the recalled item.
  • The manufacturer should give you an idea of how long the process will take.
  • If you are concerned about a product, you should stop using it immediately.
  • In some occasions, the manufacturer may offer you a deal where instead of a repair, you can get a replacement at a discounted rate. You’ll need to weigh up the age of your product and how much the manufacturer is charging to see if the deal is worthwhile to you.

We do hope you never experience an appliance recall, but it’s good to be in the know just in case!

For more information and advice about your appliances, check out our handy guide to product manuals and how to use them.

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