Among the Biggest Recalls in Technology History
Srinivas Reddy, the director of the Center for Marketing Excellence at Singapore Management University, says the Samsung recall ranks between a 4 and 7 on his 10-point scale. The scale takes into account financial and reputational damage, according to Bloomberg News.
Although the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall may cost the company $2.3 billion in the third-quarter, Reddy says the company’s rank would be much higher if any fatal injuries occurred from the exploding phones. For example, Reddy ranked the Vioxx drug scandal a 10 due to the increased chance of heart attacks and strokes it caused in some patients.
Here are a few of the largest recalls in the United States over the years, according to Bloomberg News:
Ford Motor Company’s Pinto, introduced in 1971, came with a design flaw with deadly ramifications – the gas tank was located in the rear of the car. If impacted in the rear, the Ford Pinto could cause a fuel leak and explode, reports Bloomberg News.
Ford recalled approximately 1.5 million Pintos in 1978 – soon after, Ford shut down production completely.
The recall for Takata airbags is still ongoing, and yet it has already reached a magnitude of historic proportions. Takata, now possible facing bankruptcy, has lost billions of dollars during the airbag recall. Takata was forced to recall the airbags after 16 people died, and many others hurt, in relation to the defective product. Instead of saving lives, the airbag would explode and send a shrapnel of metal at the vehicle occupants.
Peanut Corp. of America
In one of the widest spread recalls in United States history, the Peanut Corporation of America had to recall over 800 products which contained salmonella-tainted peanuts. There were at least nine deaths and more than 700 illnesses linked to the recall.
Johnson & Johnson Tylenol
In 1982, the pharmaceutical company recalled approximately 31 million bottles of Tylenol after seven people in Chicago died from ingesting deliberately laced cyanide-spiked pills. The nationwide recall spurred packaging reforms and federal anti-tampering laws. The culprit was never found, and the case remains unsolved, according to Bloomberg News.
The toy manufacturer found itself in hot water after over 20 million toys were found to contain more than the allowable levels of lead paint. Mattell Inc. had to issue a recall on millions of these toys that were produced in China, including characters from “Sesame Street” and “Dora the Explorer.”
According to Bloomberg News, lead can cause serious damage to children’s brains, create learning problems, and even result in death.