On Friday the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched a new website, www.saferproducts.gov, pursuant to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This website was designed to allow consumers to report safety issues they have encountered with products as well as search a comprehensive database of recalls. This website, in large part, depends on consumers. A consumer who has encountered a problem with a product can report the issue through the website. The CPSC then has five (5) days to send a report of the problem to the manufacturer. The manufacturer in turn has ten (10) business days to respond. After the ten (10) days have expired, the report and the manufacturer’s comments will be posted online. (See www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtm111/11168.html). Of course, there are exceptions to the above procedure. Reports that are deemed to be inaccurate will not be posted and any confidential information will be excluded. This website is dedicated to ensuring the safety of consumer products and does not accept complaints relating to other items including food and drugs. (www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtm111/11168.html)
Saferproducts.gov offers an opportunity for consumers to make their voices heard and hold manufacturers accountable. Not only will this website enable to CPSC to become aware of potential hazards almost immediately but it also enables consumers to report problems with the click of a button. The website is already accepting reports but those reports will not be visible or searchable by consumers until some time in April. However, currently the recall information located on the website is fully searchable. (www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtm111/11168.html) As of today, the websites most searched terms included: Crib; Children’s Clothing; Bicycles and Toy Animals. (www.saferproducts.gov)
Consumers are urged to utilize this website to report problems with products as well as search for recalls affecting products they have purchased or are considering purchasing. Not only will you be able to view consumer complaints relating to a specific product but you will be able to view the response of the manufacturer. If this website is able to operate the way it is intended, it will provide consumers with another mechanism to research and maintain safe products in their home.