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Government Database of Defective Products Now Online

The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched a public database that allows the public to report and search safety complaints on thousands of consumer products.

SaferProducts.gov allows people to file reports of injury or potential harm related to products from baby gear to power tools. As reports are filed, people will be able to search for safety complaints about specific items they might have in their homes or wish to purchase.

“Through SaferProducts.gov, consumers will have open access to product safety information that they have never seen before and the information will empower them to make safer choices,” said Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the consumer safety agency.

Manufacturers, congressional Republicans, and others had objected to the launch of the public database, citing the potential for bogus reports and misleading information. However, a procedure is in place that allows manufacturers ten days to respond to a report before it is added to the database.

“It’s incredibly important because consumers currently are in the dark when it comes to hazards posed by consumer products,” said Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety at the Consumer Federation of America, an advocacy group.

“They either never find out or find out when it’s too late.”