Announcing product recalls
The company must communicate the recall to distributors and consumers and other end users who have already purchased products.
The announcement of a product recall must be clearly distinguishable from marketing communications. If the products are sold in bilingual localities, the product recall must be announced in both Finnish and Swedish.
If the company has received a binding decision on product recall from Tukes,informing must comply with the decision’s orders.
Contacting consumers individually
When announcing a dangerous product and the product’s recall, the company must primarily attempt to contact consumers and other end users on an individual basis. If the company maintains a loyal customer system or other customer register for communication or marketing purposes, the company must use these electronic contact channels for individual communication on the recall.
If all consumers and end users who have purchased the product can be contacted using the contact details in the register or privately via some other electronic channel, no further announcement is necessary. Such electronic channels include, for example, private email addresses, mobile apps used by the company for sending private messages, and private messages via social media channels. The information may also be communicated via text or multimedia message.
If the company so chooses, the information can also be communicated by mail.
If the company is unable to individually contact all consumers who have purchased the product and other end users, the company must also carry out effective public communication on the matter. If the product’s sales region cannot be defined, public communication must be extended nationwide.
The company must issue a press release on the product recall. The press release must contain the same information as the notice of product recall. The press release must be distributed to the media via at least one nationwide press release distribution service. The press release distribution service is a paid service that distributes press releases to the media. Through the press release distribution service, it is possible to reach a large number of media and journalists at the same time. There are several press release distribution services in Finland.
If the content of the press release is not covered by the major media of the product’s sales region or the release fails to achieve broad visibility in national media, the company must place a notice of the product recall in the media. The notice must be placed in those press and/or electronic media that may be assumed to be the most comprehensive in reaching the product’s consumers and end users.
At the request of Tukes, the company must provide Tukes with information on the media in which the notice has been published or otherwise covered in the news. Media refers to, for example, a newspaper or online media. It is not enough to report to which media the information has been distributed.
In addition, public communication must be carried out in all of the following channels:
- If the company has a website, the notice of product recall must be published on the website in a clearly visible manner for at least three months, unless all consumers and end users who have purchased the product can be contacted before this.
- If the company has retail outlets or showrooms, the notice of product recall must be published in these in a clearly visible manner for at least three months, unless all consumers and end users who have purchased the product can be contacted before this.
- If the company has supplied the product to distributors, it must ask that the distributors publish the notice of product recall in their retail outlets and websites.
- If the company has social media channels or newsletters, the notice of product recall must also be published via these channels.
If the company’s communication is not sufficiently comprehensive, Tukes may order the company to take additional communication measures.
Content and format of a recall notice
A good and clear recall notice:
- Draws attention, stands out clearly from advertisements and is large enough.
- Has the word “RECALL” in the heading. If a different measure is involved, this can be described in the heading, such as “IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE”.
- Includes a picture and identifying information of the product, such as the trade name or brand, model, batch or serial number, rating plate, or similar.
- States clearly what kind of a risk the product may pose and why; for example: too long cords in the head and neck area of small children’s hoodies may pose a risk of choking.
- Includes clear instructions for consumers on how to act; for example: stop using the product immediately/take the product away from the reach of children and return it to the place of purchase.
- Includes a service number or online service, in which consumers or other end users can find more information in Finnish and in Swedish. The phone number of a foreign manufacturer is completely useless, if you cannot get advice in Finnish and Swedish when you call.
Information about the product
The following information helps to identify the product and avoid confusion with other, safe products being sold:
- trade name and model of the product
- serial or batch number
- information on where the serial number is located
- the colour and size of the product as well as other identifying information
- the time when and places where the product has been sold. If the product has several retail locations, the notice can refer to a list published on a website, for example.
What to do
- A good and effective recall notice provides information about the risk and clear instructions on how to act to consumers and other end users:
- The notice states what kind of a risk the product poses. A simple “safety defect” is not informative enough.
- The notice tells people to stop using the product immediately.
- The notice informs consumers about the right to return the product or other similar measures that can be taken to remove the risk posed by the product, such as repairs (if this is possible). A time limit cannot be set for the measures.
An example to help with drawing up a notice:
A dummy with a ring by Tutti Oy
Batch number 1234/07 – 5678/08
A safety defect has been found in the green dummy by TUTTI Oy. Due to a manufacturing error, the part of the dummy that is sucked on may come loose during use and pose a risk of choking
The recall procedure concerns dummies purchased from 2007 to 2008 with a batch number ranging from 1234/07 to 2678/08. The batch number is printed on the ring on the dummy.
You must stop using the dummy immediately and take it away from the reach of children. We ask consumers who have purchased the dummy to return it to the place of purchase. The price of the product will be refunded to the customer. When returning the product, customers do not need to show a receipt to receive the refund.
The products have been sold by the following shops/chains:
Further information: Tutti Oy, tel. +358 12 345 6789
Everclean washing machine
model: puhdas001 (EAN 6412345678901)
The washing machine has been sold from 1 September 2012 to 22 October 2013
Type: aqua 123
Manufacturer: Putipuhdas Oy
The recall does not apply to other types.
The washing machine has a circuit board with a faulty component that may pose a fire hazard.
You must stop using the washing machine immediately! In order to repair the machine, contact our telephone service, tel. +358 29 1234 5000.
Further information: Putipuhdas Oy
tel. +358 29 1234 4000