Another Day, Another Product Recall

GM today announced it was recalling about 1.5 million vehicles worldwide due to some sort of defect. This recall is on the heels of the Chrysler, Maytag, McDonalds, etc. recalls. The list is simply too long to go through.

All of these recalls lead us to a simple question, “Why the fu** can’t anyone build something that isn’t a piece of crap?” When companies downsized, did they get rid of all of the quality control people first? Do you really need to make 12,000,000 glasses before it dawns on you that maybe you should have checked the first few thousand for, oh, I don’t know, cadmium? I would have loved to have been in on that meeting.

Joe: Bob, how is the Shrek production going?

Bob: Awesome, Joe. We have now produced 12,000,000 of those bad boys. Ka-ching!!!

Joe: Not to be a worry wart, but, just so we are clear…you checked for lead, cadmium, paint chipping, and any other possible safety issues?  

Bob: Of course not. How can we make money if we have to test every damned thing? Joe, trust me…we are fine. These glasses are going to be bought by fat people in a trailer park thinking that they bought some sort of “collectable”. No one is going to check on that kind of crap.

Frankly, I would have preferred that the glasses had not been recalled. Having a bunch of rednecks poisoning themselves while drinking Mountain Dew from their Shrek glasses has a certain righteousness to it. Sure, the coming generations of NASCAR fans would dwindle but that might not be such a bad thing.

Many recalls happen after a few people have been maimed or killed. It is a hard hearted CEO that gets told that a few people might die from their product but gives the “go ahead” anyway. Of course, this is a free enterprise system so no one ever said there wouldn’t be a few casualties along the away. I am pretty sure the fear of the government catching the flaw before the consumer is virtually non-existent.

My favorite recall is the “phantom” Motrin recall. Motrin, manufactured by the small family firm Johnson & Johnson, was supposed to be recalled due to the fact that it was dissolving improperly and could have adverse effects on the user. Since there were only thought to be 88,000 defective caplets, J&J allegedly hired a firm to go out and buy the killer pills. Here is the instruction letter (link underneath):  

J and J’s dirty secret

This is the kind of American ingenuity that makes me get a little misty eyed. As a shareholder, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the companies that I invest in doing their level best to keep their profits soaring. So a few people get sick, maimed, or killed. We can’t let the tail wag the dog, folks. If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.

Anyway, if you are bored and want to see what other products are being recalled, visit You will find all kinds of nifty items there. This awesome product has already killed 3 babies due to suffocation. (Gee, it sure looks comfortable, doesn’t it?) 


14 Responses to Another Day, Another Product Recall

  1. nonnie9999 says:

    those motrin guys were pretty slick. i wonder what they would have done if the product had been sudafed. all their undercover agents would have been arrested, all suspected of running meth labs.

  2. RubyTwoShoes says:

    First of all I would like to answer your earlier question with yes, yes I can build something that is not a piece of crap. Why just yesterday I made built my son a cubby house from some pushed together chairs, cushions and a blanket – and he didn’t even suffocate! But I admit that I haven’t patented this ‘product’ and that it may not entirely count.

    Secondly I would like to share with you that my own government recently issued a bunch of mugs to commemorate the visit of your fine President to our far away shores with his name misspelt in large bold letters across the top….I dont know if they will be ‘recalled’ or just become collectors items attesting the heights of government incompetence…

  3. Checker: Did you find everything OK today?

    JJ Rep: [unloads 44 bottles of Motrin] Sure did.

    Checker: Are these all the same thing?

    JJ ReP: I believe so. It’s all part of a supply chain something or other and not some sort of a half-assed recall as you might immediately suspect.

    Checker: Oh. No. I just thought that maybe you had some sort of strange disease or were like the Rainman or something…

    JJ Rep: HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Lands, no. I’m just your average supply chain inspector insuring that all of the product you ordered is swept safely from the shelves and deposited at a dead drop miles away from here in a secure and unlit location. HAHA!!! “Rainman!”

    Checker: [looks at screen busily, attempting to draw less attention to himself] Do you have anything in the bottom of your cart?

    JJ Rep: Good question! I’ve just got these 31 cases of adult diapers which are needed to help absord some flooding in a current area suffering from a flood or flood-like national disaster and certainly not part of a hasty and ill-advised recall as you or your immediate supervisor might suspect. Nothing could be further from the truth [squints at name badge] Terry.

    Checker: [Swallows hard and squeaks out total] That comes to $1,105.81, sir. Would you like to put this on your [name of store] credit card? [All color immediately drains from his face as he CANNOT stop himself from prolonging this highly suspicious purpose.]

    JJ Rep: HAHAHAHahaha… [trails off and lowers voice] Terry… look at me. I don’t know what your game is or who you’re with, but trust me… Terry? … Look at me… I’ve got plenty of room left in the trunk. That’s not a threat. That’s just some information I think you need to be aware of. See this? [brief flash of shoulder-holstered pistol] This says I get away with this. Are we clear?

    Checker: [brief nod; loses more color]

    JJ Rep: Of course. Let me see if I have that card on me…

  4. Purpose, purchase. It all looks the same when you’re dictating to your trained monkey…

  5. elizabeth3hersh says:

    This is quite fascinating, TL. I did the math and sort of see why J&J arrived at that business decision. 88,000 caplets had ‘dissolving’ issues. Let’s assume they were packaged in 100 caplet containers. That gives you approximately 880 containers. Each store may stock 15-30 boxes which breaks down to 59-117 stores. Sounds like a slam dunk to round them up. Still, the subterfuge employed and a lack of public notice is very troubling. After the Chinese lead paint scare, I disposed of all my china and purchased clear glass plates, glasses, mugs and stemware. There is so much CRAP on the market. Last year, the Center for Environmental Health purchased handbags from the top 100 retailers to test for lead. You guessed it: high levels of lead on many of the handbags. Even more disturbing, lead could be found on the handles of the handbags (not to mention the women who cart food items in their purses)! Since we owned a few bags from Target (one of the vendors that came back positive for lead), I attempted to return them. I printed out the accompanying news article and showed it to customer service. Because 90 days had elapsed (their stringent return policy), Target would not accept them. I then wrote a letter to Derek Jenkins, Vice-President of Target Executive Offices and asked if Target would be testing their handbags. He replied, reiterating Target’s corporate policy: they WOULD NOT be testing any handbags and that any testing would be the responsibility of the (Chinese!) vendors WHO MANUFACTURED the bags!! What incentive do vendors have in testing their own merchandise? I no longer patronize Target nor do I purchase inexpensive Chinese made products. Done, done and done. I would rather have 2nd or 3rd hand merchandise from Neiman Marcus purchased off eBay then any of the ‘new’ stuff on the market today. They have far fewer recalls. Nice job, TL.

  6. davehambo says:

    Excellent post boss… does the phrase caveat emptor come in here?

  7. jill says:

    I wonder what those models (and photographer) were thinking when they had to do that photo shoot?

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