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Regardless of whether a product defect is classified as a Class A,B or C priority hazard, the common element among these defects is that each of them presents a substantial product hazard and corrective action must be undertaken to reduce that risk of injury.

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Regardless of whether a product defect is classified as a Class A,B or C priority hazard, the common element among these defects is that each of them presents a substantial product hazard and corrective action must be undertaken to reduce that risk of injury.

Class A Hazard

* Exists when a risk of death or grievous injury or illness is likely or very likely, or serious injury or illness is very likely.

Class A hazards warrant the highest level of company and CPSC attention. They call for immediate, comprehensive, and imaginative corrective action measures by the company, such as identifying consumers having the defective product and advising them of what steps to take to remedy the problem. Such corrective action measures would include, but are not limited to, the following:

Maximum direct notice to the product distribution network;

Maximum direct notice to consumers or groups who have or use the product. This notice could include one or more of the following communication channels:

- A joint news release issued by the CPSC and the company;
- Purchase of mailing lists of suspected product owners;
- Use of "bill stuffer" enclosures;
- Paid advertisements in nationally and/or regionally distributed newspapers and magazines reaching suspected owners of product;
- Installation of an "800" toll-free telephone line to receive calls from consumers having the defective product;
- Using incentives such as "bounty" money, gifts, and premiums to prompt consumers, distributors, and retailers to return product;
- Point-of-purchase posters at retail outlets and service centers to alert consumers to a product recall;
- Use of product warranty cards or other owner information, such as rebate return cards or service contract names, to identify users of the product;
- Notification to groups and trade associations for whom the product recall may have particular concern.

Class B Hazard

* Exists when a risk of death or grievous injury or illness is not likely to occur but is possible, or when serious injury or illness is likely, or moderate injury or illness is very likely.

This hazard priority warrants the second highest level of product recall. Efforts should be made to reach owners and users of defective products through one or more of the following:

- A joint news release from the CPSC and the company;
- If available, direct notice to consumers owning the product by means of warranty cards, catalog names, etc.;
- Paid notices in newspapers and specialty magazines to reach targeted users of the product;
- Point-of-purchase posters in retail outlets and service centers to alert consumers who may have the product;
- Incentives for consumers, distributors, and retailers to return the product;
- Installation of an "800" toll-free telephone line to receive calls from consumers with the product.

Class C Hazard

* Exists when a risk of serious injury or illness is not likely, but is possible, or when moderate injury or illness is or is not likely, but is possible.

This level of hazard concerns products that present a less serious risk of injury than products in the previous two categories, but still warrant a recall. Since a substantial risk of injury is presented, the following resources are among those that should be used to reach consumers having such products:

For recalls of products presenting Class A, B, and C priority hazards, these elements serve as guidelines for companies to use in communication information to owners and users of the defective product. While some companies have exemplary track records with regard, to communicating with consumers, it still works to a company's advantage to work with the Commission staff to use both the company's and the Commission's skills and resources for the product recalls.
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from the CORRECTIVE ACTION HANDBOOK
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
October 1988

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