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Defective: Pair of websites provides consumers vital product recall and complaint information

Walkthrough offers “step by step” site navigation
Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST
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InvestigateTV - The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues hundreds of safety recalls each year. It’s possible you have a recalled product in your home and don’t even know it.

Our national investigative team exposed that many recalls take years, and the law does not incentivize companies to tell consumers about potential problems.

There are two websites you can use to find out whether something you just bought, or have owned for years, has either been recalled or reported as potentially dangerous.

The first is cpsc.gov/recalls. On this site, you don’t even have to know the brand of the product, you can research for recalls on anything. For example, if you were to search “pacifier”, you would instantly find all the recalls in recent years for that type of product. The site will also run searches for related products. For example, if you search “bicycle”, you get results on every bike that’s recently been recalled along with products related to bikes, such as helmets. By clicking on each product, the site offers solutions such as where to return the product and if there is a refund, the phone number to call. You can also sign up for emails keeping you updated on the latest recalls.

The other site one expert said consumers should bookmark is saferproducts.gov. Along with recall information, this site has incident reports about consumer products. Nancy Cowles is the executive director of Kids in Danger, a Chicago-based consumer advocacy group. She said this website is very helpful “because anything that goes into that database, whether it is from a consumer or a medical examiner or a doctor, has to be made public, the public has to have access to it.”

Consumers can also use saaferproducts.gov to report any issues they have with a product to the government.