European product recalls surge to a 10-year quarterly high

May 21, 2024

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Sedgwick brand protection releases Q1 2024 European Recall Index report

LONDON, 21 May 2024 – According to Sedgwick brand protection’s latest European Recall Index report, European product recalls surpassed 3,000 events for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q1 2024. The 3,532 recalls marked a 10.4% increase from the previous quarter and is the highest level of recall activity in a single quarter for more than 10 years. 

  • There were 3,532 product recalls across five key European industries during Q1 2024.
  • The pharmaceutical industry was the only sector analysed in the report that saw recalls decrease during Q1 2024. 
  • The automotive, electronics, and clothing industries saw recalls increase the most quarter-over-quarter.

Sedgwick’s quarterly report analyses recall data from the UK and EU automotive, consumer product, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. Significant spikes in recall activity were recorded in the electronics, automotive, and clothing sectors (+62.4, +52.8%, and +42.4% respectively), with more modest quarter-over-quarter gains experienced in the toys (+19.3%), medical device (+9.1%), and food and beverage (+3.4%) sectors. In contrast, pharmaceutical was the only sector analysed by Sedgwick where recall activity fell during the first quarter of 2024, albeit by a minor 3.1%. 

Beyond the latest recall data, Sedgwick’s report also provides insights into recent regulatory activity and shares predictions for what stakeholders across European industries should be looking out for in 2024. Consistent with previous quarters, regulators prioritised environmental efforts and advanced measures related to waste management, extending product life cycles, and green claims. Regulators in both the EU and UK also worked to balance regulating artificial intelligence (AI) while promoting innovation, which will have sweeping impacts across industries.

Several other pending regulations could introduce an array of additional responsibilities for manufacturers and increased risk from regulatory oversight. The Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumers (DMCC) Bill in the UK would give the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) expanded regulatory power over competition and result in more aggressive enforcement under the new scope. In the EU, proposed regulations will require companies to closely examine all components of their products, including packaging, and will require them to know the origin of every component. Each quarter adds to the ever-growing risk landscape for European companies, making recall preparation a critical aspect to overcoming new challenges.

“Amidst rising recalls and growing regulatory complexity, European businesses will find it more challenging to protect their brands and maintain compliance,” said Chris Occleshaw, International Product Recall Consultant at Sedgwick. “Additionally, consumers are paying closer attention to product safety and expect more from the companies they buy from. Successfully executing a well-practiced plan when responding to a product safety event remains vital for protecting a company’s reputation and bottom line.” 

To download the latest Recall Index report, visit Sedgwick brand protection’s European 2024 edition 1 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 https://www.sedgwick.com/brandprotection.

About Sedgwick

Sedgwick is a leading global provider of claims management, loss adjusting and technology-enabled 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 sedgwick.com.

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