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Spotlight is on Europe’s largest manufacturers in Q2 2019

Time flies when you work in recall, and that has certainly been the case since our last Recall Spotlight Europe report. Q2 has been an interesting period, to say the least.

Our latest Recall Spotlight Europe report answers a variety of burning questions around Europe’s largest economic powerhouses. Designed to aggregate and analyse key recall data this report explains the impact on automotive, pharmaceuticals/med tech, clothing, toys and electrical categories.

Read the report if you want to know:

  1. Why recalls in the French automotive industry quadrupled in Q2 (up from two in Q1 to nine in Q2)?
  2. Why the world’s obsession with chicken is impacting recall volumes?
  3. If parents and children have finally fallen out of love with the plastic toy doll?
  4. Why the UK has taken pole position in the recall of electrical goods?
  5. What exactly is ‘un-boxing’ and why is it causing headaches for toy manufacturers?
  6. And, finally who pulled the plug on R&D in pharmaceuticals, and how that has affected recalls across Europe?


It will come as no great surprise that Germany remains at the top of the list for Automotive recalls – it is the leading manufacturer after all with the largest volume of export. Passenger safety was the most common reason for the recall notification. Interestingly, the report nodded towards an expectation of more software-related recalls as the industry ups the ante in introducing more automation technology.

Food and beverage

There were 987 food recalls across Europe – almost 200 more than the same period of 2018. Why? Nuts, nut products, snacks, fruit and vegetables (187 recalls) and poultry (104 recalls).

Staple foods associated with vegetarian and vegan diets have always taken pole position on the recalls volumes table. However the poultry market has come as a surprise. Recall instances in this category have increased by 55% on the same period of 2018 – from 67 to 104. As the world’s obsession with chicken accelerates so too does the volume of category recalls.


In Q2 there were 32 clothing recalls, down from 35 in the same period last year. Kids clothing recalls remain a cause for concern. While risk of chemical injury is down on the previous quarter, injuries (18) choking (3) and strangulation (7) remain consistent. There is a clear trend across children’s products in general that is worrying. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, children’s products have been the most common recall category in the last decade.

Pharmaceuticals and medical technology

Portugal topped the list for the second consecutive quarter, however it was the UK that stood out most after it faced 21 recalls compares to only five in Q1. Labelling errors continue to be the biggest issue in pharma, however quality issues are causing recalls in medical technology.

The impending deadline for companies to transition to the new EU Medical Device Regulation is sending shockwaves across the industry and could be already contributing to recall activity in Q2 2019.


In Q2, there was a general decline in recall instances across the toy category. However, a trend that has become apparent is a focus on environmental concerns. There have been 42 alerts placed since the beginning of 2019, suggesting that there will be more of these type of recalls as the year progresses.

Plastic dolls remained at the top of the list however, recalls of this item have reduced over the past year. Soft toys came in second place, with small parts causing potential choking hazards for young people. The main reason for recalls in this category are chemical and choking hazards.


The UK has seen a spike in the volume of electrical products recalled in Q2, taking its place among the top of the list of countries. USB chargers and adaptors remain the most recalled item (18) – and as we predicted there was a growing instance of alerts placed for e-cigarettes (6 models from two brands recalled in June in the UK).

We fully expect to see more occurrences of recalls due to cyber security threats in this category in the coming months as technology evolves and hacking becomes more sophisticated.

As a leader in managing automotive, consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product and food and beverage recalls, we know the process. It is our duty of care to our customers and their customers to produce reports like this in order to stay ahead of consumer trends and legislative changes that impact a product’s effectiveness and safety.

Recalls are not bad – they happen. Preparation is everything.

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