SaferProducts.gov, a database headed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), went live earlier this week in an attempt to reduce the risk of product liability claims in North Carolina and elsewhere across the country by disclosing more product information to consumers. This database was mandated by Congress as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Residents can now visit the website and submit reviews or reports pertaining to the harm or risks of products. Consumers can also search the database for information on products they currently own or may be considering for purchase.
Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers urge residents to take advantage of this new database and use it to get familiar with the possible risks that may be lurking in their homes. A number of household products are accompanied with unknown risks, and residents are often unaware of these risks because information has been, up until now, difficult to locate.
"CPSC stayed on time and on budget in building this new database," said Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum. "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."
The law put into effect a number of procedures that the CPSC and the database will have to follow for the smooth and accurate function of the website. After a consumer submits a report, the CSPC will have five business days to forward a qualifying report to the appropriate manufacturer. Once the manufacturer receives the report, it will have 10 business days to provide a response or any other comment regarding the claim. At the end of that 10 day period, and once all requirements are met, the database will post the report along with the manufacturer's comments.
The CPSC would like to reiterate that they will only post truthful and accurate reports. If the information fails to meet these requirements, it will be dismissed. They will also not post information that is proven to be materially inaccurate or confidential.
"I believe that an informed consumer is an empowered consumer," added Tenenbaum. "The ability for parents and consumers to search this database for incidents involving a product they already own or are thinking of purchasing will enable them to make independent decisions aimed at keeping their family safe."
The CPSC began accepting business registrations on the website in January. It currently has about 1,500 reports filed by consumers and roughly 1,400 manufacturers signed up through the Business Portal. Signing up through the Business Portal allows businesses to receive a copy of reports pertaining to their products in a timely manner.
"We will continue to accept written, phone and fax reports, as we have for decades," Tenenbaum said. "What is new and significant today is that we are launching an up-to-date system for letting consumers review safety reports alongside manufacturer comments about those reports."
Until this website, the CPSC's website only offered recall information through the database.