America's product recall system is so broken that a product linked to a 2011 death was just recalled this past year.
It's a problem our research partners at U.S. PIRG Education Fund grapple with in the Jan. 20 report, "Product Recalls: Often Too Little, Too Late." The report examines the relationship between these recalls and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which plays a vital role in protecting consumers from unsafe products. What we found was alarming: In too many cases, the CPSC finds its hands tied behind its back when it comes to getting dangerous products off the market.
"Right now, it can take months or years for the public to be warned about dangerous products because federal laws favor corporations, not consumers," said Hannah Rhodes, PIRG Consumer Watchdog associate. "Annually, deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer products cost Americans more than $1 trillion. That's unacceptable — the system is broken, and we need federal action to fix it."
PIRG is supporting the federal Sunshine in Product Safety Act, which would implement key reforms allowing for more transparency between the CPSC and the consumers that it strives to protect.
Learn more about our Consumer Watchdog program.