Schmitt Law Firm, LLC

What are the types of product defects?

Product defects fall into at least one of three categories: design, manufacturing and marketing. A marketing defect is sometimes termed "a failure to warn" defect and is why some people joke about products that carry seemingly nonsensical warnings. Interestingly, many people purchase cotton swabs for use in the ear canal and yet the packages carry warnings that people should not use them for this purpose. They can injure the ear and damage hearing.

In any case, here is a look at each type of product defect.

Design

When a developer or manufacturer does not test a product properly, the undiscovered flaw is a design defect. The idea is that proper testing would have revealed the design flaw. It can also happen that a product's design endures testing but does not reveal itself as poor until later.

Manufacturing

A design is only as good as the parts that go into it. That is, a product could be unsafe if the company did not tighten bolts adequately in the factory or if it used the wrong kind of bolts. These defects tend to occur only to lots or batches produced in the same general time frame at the same factory.

Marketing

For baby products, a marketing defect could be the failure to warn caregivers not to let the baby sleep in a swing. For something such as a bicycle or kayak, a marketing defect could be the failure to warn customers that people above a certain weight should not use the product. This could also be a design defect if the company never tested the product with people weighing more than a certain amount. After all, it is reasonable to assume that people of all sizes and shapes would be interested in purchasing a bicycle or kayak.

A marketing defect is not necessarily something wrong with the product itself, but due to the company's lack of warning, the product has become dangerous or potentially so.

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, Avvo.com and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.