Product Recalls Will Not Happen Because CPSC is Part of the Government Shutdown
Product recalls cannot happen as usual during a government shutdown and it could put consumers in a dangerous situation. According to a report in Business Insider, the ongoing government shutdown, in addition to affecting vehicle safety and food safety investigations, is also hampering product safety. What does this mean for consumers? Product manufacturers, given a choice, might not issue timely recalls when it comes to dangerous and defective products. This, of course, puts consumers at risk as the shutdown remains in effect.
Impact on Consumers
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has not been able to support companies undergoing product recalls. Businesses typically rely on the CPSC to provide guidance on whether or not a product should be recalled. The CPSC also helps raise public awareness about health and safety issues with recalled products.
The shutdown has already had an impact on other federal agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which investigates auto defects and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture, which look into defective or contaminated food products, dangerous drugs and faulty medical devices.
As such, we as consumers are in danger as food inspections, vehicle defect investigations and product defect issues are put on hold during this government shutdown, which has lasted longer than a month and is officially the longest such shutdown in U.S. history.
How It Affects Product Safety
The most recent recall campaign listed on CPSC’s site highlighted 3,400 units of Navien’s tankless water heaters, which posed a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. That recall was dated Dec. 20, 2018, two days before the shutdown kicked off. The agency’s website also features a banner warning consumers that the information on the site might not be up to date.
What this means for Americans is basically that they won’t be able to rely on the CPSC to give them up-to-date information on recalls. Last year saw a number of recalls from shower seats to children’s potty training seats. If the CPSC remains frozen, consumers will simply have to guess about the safety of the products they use and buy until the shutdown ends and the agency gets back on track.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective product, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information regarding your legal rights and options.