Growing Number of Companies Fined For Failing to Report Product Defects

When companies learn of a dangerous product flaw, they have a duty to alert the authorities. Yet, there was a startling rise in the number of firms that tried to dodge this responsibility in 2011.


April 20, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ — Every day, you rely on thousands of manufactured products. From the brakes on your car to the bed you sleep in, somewhere down the line a company had to design, construct and test the items that fulfill your basic needs.


Although most products are safe, sometimes hazardous items slip through the cracks and enter the stream of commerce. Defective products are responsible for thousands of injuries every year.


When a company finds out that one of its products presents a danger, they are required to take measures to protect the public. Yet, the latest numbers show that companies are becoming increasingly tightlipped about big product defects.


Defective Product Reporting Requirements


The Consumer Product Safety Commission is the federal agency responsible for publicizing information on recalled products. Under the terms of the Consumer Product Safety Act, manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers are all required to report potentially hazardous products to the CPSC once they become privy to information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product:


– Fails to meet a consumer product safety rule, standard or ban;

– Contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard; or,

– Creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death


Information that can give rise to reporting responsibility arises in many ways, from internal quality control data to customer complaints. Generally, companies must make a report to the CPSC within 24 hours of the receipt of such information.


Reporting Failures Increased Fivefold In the Span of a Year


The CPSC is empowered to levy fines against companies that fail to file a timely report regarding a product defect. In 2010, the CPSC used this power against only two companies for a combined penalty of just over half a million dollars.


In 2011, however, the number of companies penalized for their sluggish response to product defects skyrocketed to ten. This time, the total annual fines topped the $4 million mark.


A Lawyer Can Help You Hold Negligent Manufacturers Responsible


The disturbing trend towards more defective product cover-ups is bad news for consumers. But, CPSC fines are not the only way to combat marketers of dangerous items. If you or a loved one has been injured by a product due to a design flaw, a fault in the manufacturing process or a failure to provide adequate warnings about known dangers, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Call a defective products lawyer to learn more about your right to compensation from makers of unsafe products.


Article provided by The Kreeger Law Firm

Port Surveillance News: CPSC Investigators Find, Stop Nearly 650,000 Unsafe Products at the Start of Fiscal Year 2012

April 5, 2012
Release #12-142
CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: Carl Purvis, (301) 504-7805

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Investigators with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) prevented more than half a million violative and hazardous imported products from reaching the hands of consumers in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.

Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, CPSC port investigators successfully identified consumer products that were in violation of U.S. safety rules or found to be unsafe. CPSC and CBP teamed up to screen more than 2,900 imported shipments at ports of entry into the United States. As applicable, these screenings involved use and abuse testing or the use of an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer. Their efforts prevented more than 647,000 units of about 240 different noncomplying products from reaching consumers, between October 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011.

Topping the list of products stopped were children’s products containing levels of lead exceeding the federal limits, toys and other articles with small parts that present a choking hazard for children younger than 3 years old, and toys and child care articles with banned phthalates.

In addition to violative toys and other children’s products, items stopped at import included defective and dangerous hair dryers, lamps and holiday lights.

“We mean business when it comes to enforcing some of the toughest requirements for children’s products in the world. If an imported product fails to comply with our safety rules, then we work to stop it from coming into the United States,” said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Safer products at the ports means safer products in your home.”

During fiscal year 2011, CPSC inspected more than 9,900 product shipments at the ports nationwide and stopped almost 4.5 million units of violative or hazardous consumer products from entering the stores and homes of U.S. consumers.

CPSC has been screening products at ports since it began operating in 1973. In 2008, the agency intensified its efforts with the creation of an import surveillance division.