CPSC Approves New Rules Governing Mandatory Recalls

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted to approve new rules that will set the guidelines for information required in the case of mandatory recalls for defective products.

Virtually all recalls announced by the CPSC are voluntarily done with the cooperation of the manufacturer or distributor. In 2009, every recall was voluntary. However, the CPSC announced new rules on Monday regarding forced, mandatory recalls where the manufacturer is unwilling or unable to be a part of a voluntary recall effort.

The new rule requires the mandatory recalls to include product descriptions, actions being taken, the number of units being recalled, identification of the hazard and the reason for the action, number and description of injuries or deaths, as well as the ages of those injured or killed, dates when the product was manufactured and sold as well as remedies available for customers. The rules do not affect voluntary recalls, however the CPSC announcement says that the mandatory rules should be used as a guide for voluntary recalls.

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The mandatory recall rules were added to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) as an amendment by President Barack Obama when he was still a member of the Senate. The CPSIA governs how the CPSC operates. The CPSC’s duty is to protect the public from unreasonable risks from consumer products.

The CPSC, which approved the new rules unanimously, said that the rules will help consumers easily identify recalled products, understand the threats associated with those products and understand what remedies are available. The rules will go into effect upon publication in the Federal Register.

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