He points to a 1982 recall of Tylenol. where capsules laced with cyanide led to seven deaths. Those deaths led Tylenol to recall 31 million bottles of the pain reliever, making for a $100 million recall process.
A company facing only a few faulty products may not want to take on that level of action. But in Tylenol's case, Reibstein believes it paid off. "Johnson & Johnson got so much credit for being out in front and wanting to protect consumers," he says.
A Bumbo spokesperson declined to provide information on how much the recall is estimated to cost, but one can imagine that the process of manufacturing straps and mailing them to millions of Americans could be a heavy burden.
What are they doing on the other side of the world?
If you're a manufacturer, globalization means keeping your eye on a supply chain that can be in many countries all at once. California-headquartered Mattel had to recall more than 400,000 Chinese-made toys in 2007 because they contained high levels of lead.
"We now live in a society where whether you're manufacturing a product or it's a food product, because of the nature of the world we live in, the vast complexities of a supply chain means that all industries have to be critically careful," says Rozembajgier. Understanding exactly where all parts of a product came from and where they were sold is absolutely necessary to being able to reverse the supply process.
How can we predict the future?
It's an exaggeration, but only by a little. Once a recall is issued—or even before one is issued—a company has to imagine how a product might fail. For example, Bumbo might ask itself how parents are going to use the product—on a table instead of on the floor—and how children might potentially wiggle out of it.
Still, while manufacturers of children's products need to pay close attention to these details, this kind of thinking is eventually a fool's errand, he says, meaning that companies simply have to monitor their complaints closely.
"At some point people are going to do what people do," says Rozembajgier. "Nobody's perfect. No company's perfect."
Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter at @titonka or via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.