Faulty airbags were a major contributory factor behind another climb in automotive recalls in Europe during the first quarter of this year, according to the Q1 2017 Recall and Notification Index.
Conversely, the number of recalls relating to consumer products dropped by a significant 25.4%, indicating that the high figures recorded at the end of last year were an anomaly when compared with quarter on quarter trends. However, the 364 recalls recorded were still at higher levels than in four of the last seven quarters.
Motor vehicle recalls show no sign of abating as the number for the quarter increased to 122 over 93 in Q4 2016. Airbags accounted for 41.4% of these incidents in passenger vehicles, compared to 18.3% in Q4, and were followed by steering and fuel related problems. However, the sector was also hit by a number of machinery related issues and marked the largest number in one quarter during the history of the RAPEX system.
In terms of the country of origin from which the recalls stemmed, Germany was again at the top of the list with 40 recalls, followed by France with 29 and the UK with 14. China registered 12 and the United States eight.
Toys were behind 38.2% of recalls and notifications in the consumer products category accounting for 139 incidents. Chemicals and choking hazards each caused 23.6% of recalls in Q1. Chemicals have been a leading category for the past five quarters.
Of the 364 recalls in the sector, China was the country of origin for 243 (66.8%) of them. No other country surpassed 11. The countries that most frequently notified a recall event were Spain, France, the Netherlands and Poland.
The number of recalls and notifications in the food and beverage sector remained stable at 775, a drop of 1.5%. Nuts, nut products and seeds; produce and fish and fish products have been the top food categories responsible for recalls on a consistent basis.
In Q1, bacterial contamination was the biggest single cause of food recalls at 23.8% followed by aflatoxins and unauthorised ingredients.
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