Published On: Fri, Mar 17th, 2017

3 Of The Biggest Product Recalls Ever

Three years ago, General Motors recalled roughly 25 million vehicles covering 50 distinct models throughout the US. In the first half of 2014, the company announced a new recall once every seven days, causing a sharp drop in their stock. As I’m sure you know, GM aren’t the only company that’s run into a crisis like this. In this post, we’ll take a look back at a few more big names that have been forced to initiate massive product recalls.

Tylenol (Johnson and Johnson) 1982

In September of 1982, Johnson and Johnson initiated a recall of all their products bearing the Tylenol name, after 13 people had died after taking Tylenol pills that were bought in the Chicago area. After an investigation, it was found that someone had entered a number of retail stores, and tampered with the pill bottles, adding potassium cyanide to them. This one incident sparked a massive packaging reform for over-the-counter drugs, and today all these products have to be sold in tamper-proof containers. Although the investigation proved that Johnson and Johnson weren’t to blame, and they managed to steer clear of any costly wrongful death cases, the company’s stocks plummeted after news of the incident got out, but managed to recover fairly well within a month.

Dell’s Batteries, 2006

Source: Flickr

In the summer of 2006, the computer giant Dell had to recall over 4million lithium-ion batteries, which were originally manufactured by Sony. This move was prompted by a string of reported laptop fires caused by the batteries. It was one of the largest safety recalls ever attributed to an electronics company, and Dell’s stocks certainly reflected this. The company’s share price had been on a steady decline through most of the year, but showed a sharp, sudden drop in early August when the first reports of fires came through. However, it quickly recovered, and didn’t show their next significant drop until late November.

Hasbro’s Easy Bake Oven, 2007

Look at major toy company Hasbro’s stocks over the last quarter of 2007, and you’ll see one of the most unique spreads in recent history! In July of this year, the company had to pull 1million Easy Bake Ovens from the shelves, due to a number of reports of children being severely burned by the toy. This actually wasn’t the first time the safety of this popular toy had come into question. Since the first easy bake ovens came out in the mid-20th century, there have been 249 formal reports of dangerous incidents involving children. However, Hasbro seemed to have managed to keep their head above water up until this one incident in the noughties. When the news got out, their share price plummeted, hitting a nadir in August. It then went through an erratic series of peaks and troughs, and didn’t fully recover until the start of 2008.

There you have just a handful of the most prominent product recalls in history. Although dangerous products should never be left of the shelves for long, many of these recalls have led to major safety reforms, and prevented countless injuries.