How Can You Tell If a Product Is Defective?

Published on Apr 16, 2024 at 3:10 pm in Product Liability.

How can you tell if a product is defective

As consumers, we rely on countless items daily. Everything from household appliances to electronic gadgets, toys, and automobiles can have flaws that could injure you. We assume these items are safe and functional, but what happens when they fall short? How can we tell if a product is defective?

Over 12.7 million people head to the emergency rooms each year with injuries from defective products. These accidents involve many typical household or everyday items, such as cleaning solvents vehicles, and medical devices. These flawed items can pose a safety risk to you and your family.

Let’s look at the common product defects and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

Manufacturing Problems

Manufacturing defects are flaws that happen during the production process. As a result, there is some compromise between the integrity and safety of a product. These defects can include:

  • Broken components
  • Malfunctioning electronics
  • Visible damage or flaws

For example, if you have a hairdryer with a frayed cord or a bicycle missing a brake pad, these are clear indications of manufacturing defects. Any flaw has the potential to pose a safety risk to the user.

Additionally, if you have a smartphone with a non-responsive screen or a laptop that keeps shutting down unexpectedly, these could be signs of manufacturing defects in the electronic components.

You always want to be aware of the signs of manufacturing defects and to inspect products carefully before use. If you notice any flaws or defects, stop using the item immediately. Make sure to contact the manufacturer or a qualified technician to have it repaired or replaced.

Marketing Defects

Another type of product flaw is a marketing defect. While it may not seem serious to consumers, these flaws can risk their safety and health. Many times, they may not be marketed correctly, which can lead to injuries.

Inadequate warnings are a major marketing defect. Some of these warnings can include:

  • Choking hazard warnings: Children’s toys should indicate age-appropriate use and potential choking hazards. Missing warnings could render a toy defective.
  • Electrical appliances: Look for safety labels on electrical appliances. A missing “UL Listed” mark or improper voltage information could signal a defect.

Before you use something, always make sure to check the packaging, warning labels, and user manuals. If any item does not have a safety warning, or the warning looks different from those standard ones in the marketplace, you may have a defective product. When someone is not aware of the risks of using it, one downside is that it can lead to injuries and other types of harm.

Sometimes, items have misleading claims. With that, it may claim to produce miraculous results, but it fails to deliver on those promises. For example, some weight loss products may claim to help you drop an excessive amount of weight but fail to live up to those results. You will always want to be wary of any exaggerated claims. Not only do these products waste your money, but they could put your safety and health at risk.

If you have found a product with mislabeled warning or false promise claims, you should report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Design Defects

Design flaws can harm consumers and lead to costly lawsuits. These issues are a little harder to detect than the others because the problem is with the overall design of the product. Often, these defects originate in its blueprint and affect all units produced. Sometimes, the primary design is inherently unsafe. For example, a car seat with inadequate side-impact protection poses a serious risk to passengers.

All manufacturers focus on functionality and safety during the design and conceptualization phase. They analyze its risk-benefit ratio before releasing it on the market. If the risk outweighs the benefits, the manufacturer is responsible for addressing the issues. However, products with these flaws should never reach the market. If they do, the manufacturer needs to issue a recall to fix or remove it from the market.

What To Do If You Have a Defective Product

Hopefully, you can spot the signs when a product you bought is defective and stop using it. But what happens if these defects or flaws have injured you? If you suspect an item is dangerous, you will want to keep it in its original state. If you try to fix it or alter it in any way, it could affect the outcome of your defective product claim.

For those who are pursuing legal action, always make sure to document everything. You will want to keep records on the item you bought, including its purchase date, and any injuries or damages. Also, make sure to include photographs of it with your injuries.

Additionally, the item that hurt you should be reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. However, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for vehicle defects, and you can report food or drug issues to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

After that, you may want to seek legal advice. Talking to an attorney can help you decide on your next move. To succeed in a product liability claim in Jackson, MS, you must be able to demonstrate that the defect directly caused the injury. Your legal team will need to establish the cause of the injury and link it directly to its defect. A thorough investigation can help identify the responsible parties and provide evidence to support your claim.

Get Assistance for Your Product Liability Case

Defective products not only inconvenience us but can also have serious consequences. Stay informed, stay safe, and demand quality from what you choose. If you have been injured by any flawed or defective item, you have a right to pursue compensation. One of our product liability attorneys who regularly handles cases like yours will be happy to discuss your case with you. So, give us a call at Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC right away.

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