Report Indicates Rising Number Of Recalls By U.S. Authorities

A new analysis of recalls in the U.S. found increases in the automotive, consumer products and food sectors during the second quarter of the year. See the key facts and figures.

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A new analysis of recalls in the U.S. found increases in the automotive, consumer products and food sectors during the second quarter of the year.

Auto industry recalls, in particular, climbed by 40 percent between the first three months of the year and the second, according to the Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS quarterly recall index, while the number of individual units recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doubled to nearly 40 million.

Vehicles comprised 64 percent of the recalled units, while auto equipment accounted for 36 percent and a near-record 14 million recalled units.

Airbags were blamed for 90 percent of the recalled units. The NHTSA in May announced plans to significantly expand an unprecedented recall of Takata airbags, which can degrade and explode in humid conditions.

Consumer product recalls, meanwhile, climbed by a more modest 8 percent in the second quarter.

The index showed that the number of units recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission declined, but that was due to a spike in the first quarter amid a propane gas recall. The number of recalled units in the second quarter was higher than all other quarters over at least the previous decade.

Home furnishings and fixtures accounted for more than 80 percent of the recalled units.

The analysis said that nearly half of the recalls were the result of fall, fire or injury hazards, and that the number of reported incidents was more than three times higher than the first quarter total.

The number of reported injuries declined, but high totals in the first quarter meant that injuries were higher in the first half of the year than in all of 2015 combined.

The amount of CPSC fines between January and June was also higher than 2015's cumulative total.

Stericycle also found that both the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture increased their food- and beverage-related recalls, largely due to "one large recall" by each agency.

Most FDA-recalled units were attributed to quality issues, while the USDA's recalls involving "multiple proteins" led the vast majority of its recalled units to be classified under "contamination."

Although recalls for undeclared allergens jumped by nearly 80 percent in the quarter, the report noted that remained just the fourth-leading cause of recalled food and beverage units.

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