What is the Procedure for Reporting a Faulty Product to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) exists to protect consumers from faulty products that may be unsafe or conflict with product safety guidelines.
The CPSC website has a page for reporting hazardous products, known as SaferProducts.gov, which allows both consumers and businesses who create these products to directly notify the agency that regulates them. The process of reporting for a consumer is different from how a business must report on their own faulty product, in that the business must follow strict requirements when they become aware of their product’s problem.
Consumers can fill out the simple form found on SaferProducts.gov in order to report a defective product. It will ask about the problems with the product, the possible risks it poses for consumers, and the harm it may or may not have already caused. Keep in mind that all reports are confidential and that there are whistleblower protections for employers who report a faulty product created at their workplace. An employer may not fire an employee or retaliate against them for reporting a product to the CPSC.
Businesses who become aware that one of their products is defective or unsafe must adhere to a set of more stringent guidelines. The Consumer Product Safety Act Section 15 outlines these rules. A business is required to report its product to the CPSC within 24 hours if they become aware that the product:
- Poses an unreasonable risk of injury or death
- Fails to comply with any CPSC guidelines for product safety
- Has caused any sort of serious injury or death to a child (particularly with products that involve small parts that pose a choking risk)
Businesses must also report within 24 hours if they have any suspicions that their product may cause harm or break CPSC guidelines, even if no injury has occurred yet as a result of the suspected defect.