How COVID-19 Could Affect Your Recalled Products

KID Fighting Product Safety

During this difficult time when many of us are sheltered at home, it’s important that families search their homes for recalled items and, if found, take the necessary steps to participate in the recall and remove the items from homes. Here’s a brief FAQ about recalls during COVID-19.

How do I search for recalled products in my home?

Take inventory of the children’s products and furniture in the household. You can easily use your phone to access the CPSC’s recall app and search your products to see if there are any active recalls. Read more about how to use CPSC’s mobile recall database. You can also search through the CPSC’s website. You may need to note down the model or serial number since for some products, only certain model numbers are affected.

What should I do if I find a recalled product in my home?

The CPSC’s press release for the recalled product provides instructions for how to participate in the recall. For most companies, you can do it from the company’s website. In most instances, you can contact the company to participate and obtain the remedy such as a replacement product or refund. Depending on the recall, consumers can be asked to send in proof of purchase, pictures of destruction of objects, etc.

How does COVID-19 affect recalls?

A pop-up on the CPSC’s website states that “Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding COVID-19, some of the remedies identified in recall press releases may not be available at this time. Consumers should check with recalling firms for further details. It is important to remember that CPSC and recalling firms urge consumers not to use recalled products.”

Consumers looking to participate in a recall or gain more information about a particular recall during this COVID-19 outbreak should call the manufacturer or go to the company’s recall website to see if changes have been made to their recall process.

On Mattel’s recall website for the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play recall, the company states:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our Consumer Support and Inventory teams are currently operating at limited capacity. These limitations may cause longer than usual delays in receiving service or the shipment of product and parts. We apologize for any inconvenience but assure you we are working hard to ensure all requests and orders are processed as efficiently as possible. We appreciate your patience.

For its MALM and KULLEN dresser recalls, IKEA states on its website that since their U.S. stores have closed, they have temporarily suspended in-home pickups and wall attachment kit installation services. Consumers can still have a free anchor sent to their homes to install the anchor themselves. Consumers can also provide their contact information for an in-home pickup or wall attachment kit installation at a later date. KID and other safety advocates recommend these unstable dressers, associated with at least 9 deaths, be removed from use. While waiting for pick-up or refunds, move the dresser to an area that cannot be accessed by children. But given the delay, if it is needed now, anchor securely.

During these extreme circumstances it is understandable that adjustments have to be made for recalls, but manufacturers must provide individuals the correct information about how to participate in active recalls. There is no expiration date for a recall, so keep recalled products in a safe place that’s not accessible to children until you’re able to participate in the recall.

Check out KID’s new consumer guide that we created with Consumer Federation of America and U.S. PIRG about common hazards to watch out for while sheltering in place at home.