Report: Recalls of dangerous products are often too little, too late

America’s product recall system is so broken that a product linked to a 2011 death was just recalled this past year.

It’s a problem our research partners at U.S. PIRG Education Fund grapple with in the Jan. 20 report, “Product Recalls: Often Too Little, Too Late.” The report examines the relationship between these recalls and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which plays a vital role in protecting consumers from unsafe products. What we found was alarming: In too many cases, the CPSC finds its hands tied behind its back when it comes to getting dangerous products off the market.

“Right now, it can take months or years for the public to be warned about dangerous products because federal laws favor corporations, not consumers,” said Hannah Rhodes, PIRG Consumer Watchdog associate. “Annually, deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer products cost Americans more than $1 trillion. That’s unacceptable — the system is broken, and we need federal action to fix it.”

PIRG is supporting the federal Sunshine in Product Safety Act, which would implement key reforms allowing for more transparency between the CPSC and the consumers that it strives to protect.

Read more.

Learn more about our Consumer Watchdog program.


Photo: In November 2021, PIRG’s Hannah Rhodes discussed the findings of our 36th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report on dangerous children’s products in testimony before the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security. Credit: U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security


Aaron Colonnese

Content Creator, Editorial & Creative Team, The Public Interest Network

Aaron writes and designs materials with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network for U.S. PIRG. Aaron lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, and spends his spare time playing drums and going for long walks.

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