CPSC Finalizes Mandatory Recall Notice Rules

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just unanimously approved a new rule setting guidelines and requirements for information in <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/product_liability">mandatory recall notices. Now, a mandatory recall can be ordered by the Commission or a U.S. District Court.

Each section of the rule is either required by Section 214 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), or the CPSC has determined it will likely increase recall effectiveness by helping consumers:

Identify the product subject to a recall,

Understand the hazard identified with the product, and
Understand what remedy is offered regarding the product.

Information required by the rule includes (The Commission could determine some of the information is unnecessary or inappropriate for a particular recall):

Product description
Action being taken
Number of units
Identification of the substantial product hazard and reason for the action
Identification of manufacturers and significant retailers
Dates when product was manufactured and sold
Number and description of any injuries or deaths
Ages of those injured or killed
Remedy available to consumers
Other information the Commission deems appropriate.

The rule does not contain requirements for voluntary recall notices but will serve as a guide for those notices. If CPSC decides to extend these requirements to voluntary recall notices, it would proceed with separate rulemaking.

In 2009, 100 percent of the recalls announced to consumers took place voluntarily and cooperatively with impacted firms. As more products are recalled each year, the high rate of cooperative recall announcements negotiated by CPSC staff is a benefit to the safety of consumers.

The requirement to create a mandatory recall rule was proposed as an amendment to the CPSIA by President Barack Obama when he was a member of the Senate.

The final rule goes into effect upon publication in the Federal Register.

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