The competition for the hottest new toy has placed a lot of pressure on toy companies. The market for toys is practically inexhaustible as Americans have more discretionary income and a desire to please their little ones. Unfortunately, as toys have become more intricate and unusual, the risk to children has increased resulting in the need for toy recalls.
Toys, like any other products are regulated in the United States by federal laws and regulations. The governing body is the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is established by the Consumer Product Safety Act. This Act was enacted in 1972 to establish standards for regulating products introduced in the consumer marketplace. In 2008 the law was amended to add new enforcement and regulatory tools. There were additional amendments to regulations for toy safety. Another important law is the Child Safety Protection Act. This Act focuses on regulating products that may produce a choking hazard to children. This includes regulations like warning labels on products and misbranded toys. Note that even products that are not considered for children are covered if it is foreseeable that a child may interact with that product.
When an issue exists there are several ways the problem can be remedied. Consumers can report a dangerous toy to the CPSC. An investigation may ensue if the Commission receives a large number of complaints. They will conduct an investigation to make sure the product complies with federal regulations. Next, the commission will get the manufacturer involved. The manufacturer will work with the commission to get the product up to federal standards or to correct the defect. Depending on the severity of the problem, a recall may be issued. The recall will likely be issued by the manufacturer and the CPSC. Notices may be mailed to products that are registered with the company. Note that a company may voluntarily recall a product independently. Fines may be imposed depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation. A manufacturer may pursue litigation if they disagree with the result of the commission.
A child who is injured by a product may pursue a products liability action. In many instances, the CPSC will file the lawsuit on behalf of those injured since those seeking relief will have to exhaust all administrative remedies before seeking court action. Consumers may also appeal if the Commission does not decide in their favor. With products liability actions, a consumer can sue anyone in the product chain.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.