European product recalls break records for fifth consecutive year in 2023

February 22, 2024

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LONDON, 22 February 2024 – European product recalls increased for the fifth consecutive year in 2023, recording 12,498 total events. According to Sedgwick brand protection’s 2024 European State of the Nation Recall Index report, this represents an 18.5% increase over the previous record of 10,545 events, which was set in 2022. 

Sedgwick’s quarterly Recall Index report analyses data from the UK and EU automotive, consumer product, food and drink, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. This special edition delves deeper to provide a comprehensive year-in-review analysis of 2023 recall data and product safety trends. The surge in European product recalls experienced in 2023 was driven by an increase in events in the consumer products (+49.1%), medical device (+20.0%), pharmaceutical (+7.7%), and food and drink (+7.0%) industries. Even though the automotive industry saw fewer recalls than it did in 2022 (-3.3%), 2023 still recorded the second-highest number of total events in the past ten years.  

Beyond the recall data and analysis, this report also provides essential insights into the regulatory developments and predictions that stakeholders should look out for in 2024. Regulators across the EU and UK are continuing to enact layers of regulations to protect the environment as well as public safety, as seen in 2023 with the EU Batteries Regulation and proposed Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation. Companies will need to be aware of not only their own actions but the operations and practices of their entire supply chain. Moreover, consumers are increasingly demanding greater transparency and information regarding product manufacturing and advertising, prompting regulators to introduce new measures addressing advertising and labelling practices. 

In addition, there is increased enforcement against anticompetitive behaviour and cartel activity across sectors and geographic borders. Simultaneously, the EU is in the process of modernising existing regulations, while the UK builds its own regulatory framework independent of the EU. Against this backdrop, numerous ongoing global economic and political challenges persist, adding further complexity to the risk landscape.

“2024 is shaping up to be a busy year for regulatory activity, and industry stakeholders can expect to see more regulator and consumer scrutiny of product safety and the practices of businesses throughout the entire product lifecycle,” shared Chris Occleshaw, International Product Recall Consultant at Sedgwick. “Amidst a complicated risk landscape rife with evolving challenges, businesses should take time to create a strategic and well-practiced plan for addressing product recalls and in-market challenges.”

To download the latest Sedgwick Recall Index report, visit Sedgwick brand protection’s European 2024 State of the Nation Recall Index page.

The Sedgwick brand protection Recall Index is published every quarter. It is the only report that aggregates and tracks recall data across the UK and EU to help industry stakeholders navigate the regulatory environment, product recalls, and other in-market challenges. For more information, visit

About Sedgwick

Sedgwick is a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions. The company provides a broad range of resources tailored to clients’ specific needs in casualty, property, marine, benefits, brand protection and other lines. At Sedgwick, caring counts; through the dedication and expertise of 33, 000 colleagues across 80 countries, the company takes care of people and organizations by mitigating and reducing risks and losses, promoting health and productivity, protecting brand reputations, and containing costs that can impact performance. Sedgwick’s majority shareholder is The Carlyle Group; Stone Point Capital LLC, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Onex and other management investors are minority shareholders. For more, see

Tags: automotive, Brand protection, brand recall, consumer products, consumer recall, EU recall index, Europe, food and beverage, Medical devices, pharmaceuticals, Preserving brands, product management, Product recall, recall, United Kingdom