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Automotive and PPE recalls dominate European data tables

As we closed Week 19 of 2020, the European Commission published its data tables on recall alerts from across the continent. Unsurprisingly PPE equipment - namely face masks - were among the products deemed defective, but there were also 13 separate notifications for the automotive category.

Being one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, there is not a week that passes where automotive does not feature in the tables, however, 13 is relatively high in comparison to the last few weeks.

All the alerts were deemed as products with a serious risk, with technical defects ranging from inadequate welding to poor braking pressure and clutch performance. Each of the products are now in the process of being recalled from end users by the notifying countries.

In line with demand for PPE equipment to combat the current global pandemic, five consignments of particle filter face masks (four originating from China and one from Denmark) were flagged as a health risk to consumers. Spain submitted its notification after the product failed to comply with PPE Regulations and relevant European standards. The country noted that the defect meant that an excessive amount of particles or microorganisms could pass through the material, increasing the risk of infection.

Denmark’s reason for vetoing its four consignments was because while the products bore a CE marking, they were not certified as protective equipment by relevant regulatory bodies.

The remainder of notifications included liquid for e-cigarettes (1), LED tube (1), leather working gloves (1), toys (5), USB chargers (2) and a mobile phone battery (1).

There is nothing in these recalls that is highly unusual. That said, as we move into Q3 of 2020, we expect to see a spike in recall notifications in PPE equipment. As Europe prepares to get back to work, heads of business will stock up on various health and safety products including face masks, disposable gloves, ani-bac/viral wipes and disposable tissues.

Manufacturers will have a tough job in meeting demand and that is when mistakes happen. However, with the right recall strategy in place manufacturers and distributors will manage the inevitable recall process effectively.

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