European product recalls hit record high in second quarter of 2023

August 22, 2023

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LONDON, 22 August 2023 – European product recalls continued to increase across five key industries in the second quarter of 2023, rising 7.8% from the previous quarter. This marks the fourth consecutive quarterly increase and the highest level of recall activity recorded in a single quarter for more than 10 years according Sedgwick’s latest edition of the 2023 European product recall index.

Sedgwick’s quarterly report analyses recall data from the European automotive, consumer product, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and medical device sectors. The key contributors to this record-breaking growth in quarter two were the consumer product sector which saw recalls increase by 31.8%; the automotive sector by 12.6%; and the food and beverage sector by 2.3%. In contrast, the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors saw recalls decline by 14.0% and 4.2% respectively.

In addition to the latest recall data, Sedgwick’s report also reviews recent regulatory activity and provides predictions for what manufacturers across European industries can expect in the second half of 2023. Artificial intelligence (AI) will remain a key focus for regulators in the EU and UK, even as lawmakers advance proposals that take different approaches to regulating the new technology. All sectors will be impacted by the EU’s AI Act, but sector-specific guidance for medical devices and consumer products may create confusion around which AI guidelines apply in which circumstances.

The environment and the EU’s Green Deal remain regulatory priorities in Europe, with regulators moving to advance circular economies, reduce waste, and promote sustainability. As we’re seeing in the U.S., European regulators are also taking steps to protect consumers from unscrupulous practices in secondary markets, especially with online sales.

“As regulators work to keep pace with emerging risks like artificial intelligence and climate change, businesses will face an increasingly crowded regulatory environment with higher stakes for noncompliance,” said Chris Occleshaw, international product recall consultant at Sedgwick. “We’re also seeing more product recalls each quarter, which further complicates the risk landscape for businesses. As a result, pre-planning for in-market challenges will become an essential business process for operating in the EU and UK.”

To download the latest recall index report, visit Sedgwick’s European 2023 edition 2 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

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