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Do companies have to report manufacturing defects?

We talk a lot on this blog about dangerous, defective and poorly designed products and how they can be harmful to Minnesota families. This is certainly true, and federal regulators, product designers, manufacturers, and sellers should all be working together to keep consumers safe. But what, exactly, do regulations say about defectively manufactured products?

First, the federal government require manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers to report any safety concerns. These safety concerns could be in the form of a regulation violation, a known defect that poses significant risk of harm or knowledge of a defect that poses a serious hazard. Though the government utilizes other information when deciding to issue a recall, these product makers and sellers can move more quickly to ensure consume safety.

Companies are also required to file reports to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission if certain events take place. For example, some incidences of choking must be reported. This particularly pertains to small balls, balloons, and toys and games that have small parts. There are many other times when companies must report mishaps, and it is critical that they do so to ensure that consumer safety is protected.

Unfortunately, though, far too many companies either fail to report safety concerns or neglect their duty to be informed of the effect their products are having on consumers. Even those who are aware may step in too late to prevent a consumer from suffering a serious injury. Therefore, those who are hurt by manufacturing defects may want to take action themselves by filing a products liability lawsuit. If successful, a victim may be able to recover compensation and raise awareness of a hazardous product that could harm others.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, "Recall Guidance," accessed on Aug. 28, 2015

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