by Nancy Nord
Washington Legal Foundation
April 28, 2014
For the past 40 years, voluntary safety recalls conducted by companies, with the cooperation and participation of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), have been a primary tool for ensuring product safety in the marketplace. American consumers have benefited from a system that, for the most part, has operated effectively to remove unsafe products from store shelves and consumers’ homes. Unfortunately, CPSC now proposes to change the ground rules for conducting voluntary recalls. The proposed changes likely will make the process more difficult, costly, and unwieldy for companies conducting recalls. Moreover, CPSC’s proposal seems to fall outside the boundaries of its governing statute. And in the end this ill-advised agency proposal will put consumers at risk. This Legal Backgrounder explores the shortcomings of CPSC’s proposal and its potential impact on the voluntary recall process.

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