Each month we look closely at trends in recall alerts and notifications across Europe to understand any patterns that may be arising in the category.
Recalls in electrical appliances are of particular interest to many now due to widespread alarm caused by unsafe products making it into British households.
Major manufacturers of white goods have featured heavily across tabloids in the last two years resulting in mounting pressure to do more to recall faulty tumble dryers and washing machines from consumers.
We wanted to look closely at the types of recalls making their way into the European Commission’s rapid alert system, Safety Gate, for last month and compare them to previous Novembers.
This year, Safety Gate reported 27 recalls in the electrical appliances and equipment category. All but four posed a serious risk to the public, 14 had the potential to give electric shocks, one had a fire risk. Ten were pulled for risks to the environment.
In November 2015, of the 18 recalls in this category, only two were for environmental risks. In 2016, of the 13 recalls, only one was for environmental risks. A year later and two of the 14 recalls were for the same reason, while in 2018 only three of the 18 recalls related to environmental concerns.
In McKinsey’s Western Europe’s consumer goods industry in 2030 report, there is a suggestion that tighter regulations will come into force in the coming years – which will likely result in more recalls in this category relating to environmental risks.
“Rising social and environmental standards, new laws, and tougher sanctions will make business harder for the companies but will also offer opportunities for those that stay ahead of the regulatory curve by launching ground-breaking initiatives, especially in production and supply-chain management.”
Consumer voices are shaping regulation – this is not a passing trend. Similarly, consumer purchasing behaviour is moulding how big companies are designing and manufacturing their products. As consumer interest and action grows in all things environmentally friendly, companies and governments across Europe will respond accordingly.
Recall management is a core component of what we do. One of the biggest misconceptions we face is that recalls are bad. Granted, when they first hit, it can be incredibly uncomfortable for the manufacturer, retailer and end-user - but the reality is, if this process is managed properly, it can actually improve relationships with consumers.
As recall experts, we keep a trained eye on data trends, which allows us to make educated predictions on what lies ahead.