MARKETING: Once Is Not Enough

Once a phenomenon limited chiefly to the auto industry, recalls of defective products have burgeoned into a way of business life that affects makers and buyers of all sorts of items—TV sets, toothbrushes, light bulbs, oven cleaners, snowmobiles, power saws, mattresses and cosmetics. Cars still account for a sizable portion of the recalls: from 1966 through the end of February 1975, 45.7 million foreign and domestic autos were called back for inspection or actual repair. But in 1974 alone, 25 million product units other than cars were recalled, according to E. Patrick...

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