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The most common types of defective products that people buy

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

When we buy a new product online or at a store, we rarely give any thought about how that product might potentially harm us. Sadly though, every day thousands of Californias are hurt or injured by faulty products that can cut, explode, pinch, pull, or main in a variety of unexpected ways.. At J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles, California, we frequently assist clients who have been adversely affected by defective products. This article aims to inform consumers about the most common types of defective products, relevant California laws that offer protection, and steps to take if you’ve been injured by such a product.

Common Types of Defective Products

1. Electronics and Appliances: Faulty wiring, defective batteries, or poor manufacturing can lead to overheating, fires, or electrocution.

2. Automobiles and Auto Parts: Defects in cars, including faulty brakes, airbag failures, or engine defects, can result in serious accidents.

3. Children’s Products: Toys with choking hazards, flammable materials, or toxic substances pose significant risks to children.

4. Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals: Defective medical devices or drugs with harmful side effects can cause severe health issues.

5. Food Products: Contamination or mislabeling of food items can lead to food poisoning or allergic reactions.

Specific Examples of Defective Products

It’s important to note that while many products have a record of occasionally being defective, this doesn’t mean all items in these categories are inherently unsafe. Manufacturers often recall and improve products to ensure safety. Here’s an extensive list of product categories where defects have been known to occur:


1. Smartphones and Tablets: Issues with batteries, screens, or software malfunctions.

2. Laptops and Computers: Overheating problems, battery defects, or hardware failures.

3. Televisions and Monitors: Screen defects, electrical issues, or fire hazards.

4. Kitchen Appliances: Faulty wiring in microwaves, toasters, or refrigerators.

5. Air Conditioners and Heaters: Electrical faults or malfunctioning components.


1. Cars and Motorcycles: Brake failures, airbag issues, or engine defects.

2. Bicycles and E-Bikes: Structural weaknesses, brake malfunctions.

3. Children’s Car Seats: Faulty harnesses or structural issues.

4. Tires: Defective treads or sidewalls leading to blowouts.

Children’s Products

1. Toys: Choking hazards, toxic materials, or sharp edges.

2. Baby Cribs and Strollers: Structural weaknesses or entrapment risks.

3. Children’s Clothing: Fire hazards due to flammable materials.

Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals

1. Surgical Implants: Hip replacements, pacemakers, or breast implants with defects.

2. Over-the-Counter Medications: Contamination or incorrect labeling.

3. Prescription Drugs: Unforeseen side effects or dosage issues.

Home and Building Materials

1. Electrical Components: Wiring or circuit breakers with fire hazards.

2. Plumbing Fixtures: Lead contamination or failure under normal use.

3. Insulation Materials: Fire hazards or health risks from materials like asbestos.

Food Products

1. Packaged Foods: Contamination with pathogens like E. coli or Salmonella.

2. Fresh Produce: Pesticide residues or bacterial contamination.

3. Dietary Supplements: Mislabeling or contamination with harmful substances.

Sporting Goods

1. Helmets and Safety Gear: Inadequate protection or material failure.

2. Exercise Equipment: Mechanical failures or stability issues.

3. Outdoor Gear: Tents, sleeping bags, or backpacks with material or design flaws.

Clothing and Accessories

1. Footwear: Sole detachment or material failures.

2. Children’s Clothing: Drawstrings or small parts posing strangulation or choking risks.

3. Jewelry: Toxic substances like lead or nickel.


1. Cosmetics: Contamination or allergic reactions.

2. Cleaning Products: Chemical hazards or mislabeling.

3. Furniture: Structural weaknesses or tip-over risks.

Remember, consumer vigilance is key. Always check for product recalls and report any issues with products to the appropriate authorities or manufacturers.

California Consumer Protection Laws

California has robust laws to protect consumers from defective products. Key statutes include:

  • California Lemon Law (Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act): This law applies to new vehicles with substantial defects covered by a warranty.
  • California Strict Liability Laws: These laws hold manufacturers and sellers responsible for defects, regardless of fault or negligence.
  • Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA): CLRA enables consumers to take legal action against unfair or deceptive business practices.

We encourage you to research these laws and to consult an attorney who can inform you if your unique situation is covered by any of the above laws.

What To Do If Injured by a Defective Product

1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the priority. Document your injuries and keep medical records.

2. Preserve the Product and Evidence: Keep the defective product and any packaging, instructions, or receipts.

3. Report the Incident: Notify the manufacturer and possibly file a report with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

4. Document Everything: Keep a record of all communications related to the incident and the product.

5. Consult with a Product Liability Attorney: An attorney specialized in product liability can guide you through the process of seeking compensation.

Recent Examples of Defective Products That Injured People In California

November 2023

A California carpenter is suing a power tool manufacturer over its “defective” nail gun he says misfired and shot a nail through his tongue and into his head while he was at work. Timothy Kualii Kahae, who is now 28, needed emergency surgery to remove the nail that was lodged in the base of his skull in an incident that left him “permanently scarred,” a complaint filed November 3, 2023 in federal court says.

October 2023

In Pennsylvania, a jury has ordered Mitsubishi Motors to pay nearly $977 million in damages to a man who said he became a quadriplegic in a vehicle rollover because of an alleged defective seatbelt. Jurors in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas awarded Francis Amagasu, 58, and his wife $176,551,384 in compensatory damages and $800 million in punitive damages in October 2023 after a lengthy lawsuit against the company, according to Kyle Farrar, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers.


Consumers have the right to expect safe and effective products. Understanding the common types of defective products and being aware of the legal protections in place can help in taking the appropriate steps if you find yourself affected by such an issue. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, don’t hesitate to reach out to J&Y Law Firm for expert legal assistance in navigating these complex cases. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us at J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA at (877) 564-3611.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.