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CPSC Approves Plan to Publish Consumer Safety Complaints on Website

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved plans to publish consumer complaints about product safety hazards at www.saferproducts.gov. Beginning in March, the website will collect and post complaints that are sent in by consumers, government agencies, health care professionals, interest groups, and attorneys. Previously, before the passage of CPSIA, federal law required the manufacturer’s consent before information on product-related injuries was released to the public.

Each database entry is expected to include a description of the harm or risk of harm, a description of the product, the manufacturer’s name, the poster’s contact information (which can be kept private), and an affirmation that the complaint is truthful. After the complaint is approved and published, the manufacturer will be forwarded the complaint and will have 10 days to respond to it. If the complaint is proven to be inaccurate, the commission could edit or remove it from the website.

Because public postings can impact a company’s reputation and brand, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) requested that the CPSC take steps to verify that the information is accurate before posting. TIA is also asking that the CPSC beta test the database’s full posting and verification process. The plan was passed with a 3-2 vote.

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