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CPSC Considering New Rule to Make Voluntary Recall Plans Legally Binding

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently proposed a new rule that would make corrective action plans for voluntary product recalls legally binding. The proposal would give the agency more authority to take action against companies that fail to comply with remediation measures.

Under the current regulatory scheme, manufacturers, distributers, and retailers must notify the CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any rule, regulation, standard, or ban enforced by CPSC. Thereafter, the agency and the company will generally negotiate a voluntary recall.

The new rule proposal would authorize the CPSC to pursue potential court action if companies violate the terms of their corrective action plans, which outline the remedial actions that will be taken by companies during a voluntary recall.

While Commissioner Robert Adler acknowledged that violations are not a “big problem,” he noted that even if one corrective action plan is violated, “that [violation] may leave hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of consumers at risk of a defective product.”

As San Diego product liability attorneys, we will continue to track the status of the CPSC proposal and provide updates as they become available.