Boats products and their equipment may be recalled by removing them from the market if they are found to be potentially hazardous, or after the local authorities realize the product has violated mandatory safety standards. The boats products include recreational boats, personal boats and any installed equipment.
The U.S Coast Guard is mandated to oversee the boats products. The Coast Guard is the first source of all information regarding defects that may be discovered in boats which results in recalls. It also publishes and maintains a list of boats that have been found with any defect and recalled. The Coast Guard also ensures manufacturer adhere to regulations set when constructing boats to ensure maximum safety, the include regulations on electrical systems, fuel systems, ventilation, safe loading and flotation requirements.
Recalls are intended to help reduce injuries, loss of life, and property damage that may be caused by defective boats in the U.S waterways. For example, a boat may be recalled if it does not have the proper flotation required to keep it level when in the water.
The recall may be started by the manufacturer after discovering the problem, or the Coast Guard may contact the manufacturer to withdraw its product after receiving complaints from the consumer.
You can have your boat get checked by Vessel Safety Check (VSC) cost free, with no penalties if the boat does not pass the test. They have qualified officer who have been certified by both the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons who can inspect your boat at a time of mutual convenience. This test is intended to ensure that your boat is safe and does not pose any risk to the user. This free inspection may only be available to personal pleasure craft only. This may help you identify defects in the boat that you may not have noticed.
Before contacting the manufacturer or the authorities, you should ensure the product details in the recall notice match the details on your boat. You should stop using the boat and instead return it to the store where you purchased for a refund, repair or replacement with another one. Even when it has taken you time to learn of the recall, it is advised you should return the product and follow the specific guidance in recall announcement.
You can use their online portal to report any defects in a boat or related equipment that is less that ten years old: http://www.uscgboating.org/content/consumer-safety-defect-report.php. You can also reach them by calling: 1-800-368-5647.
You can also make a direct complaint to the store or the manufacturer if you do not want to contact the Coast Guard. Currently, there are over 16,040 manufacturers that have been registered with the Coast Guard and you can search for their contacts on their website: http://www.uscgboating.org/content/manufacturers-identification.php