The firm keeps tabs on government agencies which play a role in consumer safety relative to defective products. This just came over the wire (okay, in my inbox):
"WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) goes live with the SaferProducts.gov database mandated by Congress, as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Beginning today, consumers are encouraged to visit www.SaferProducts.gov to submit Reports of harm or risks of harm, and to search for safety information on products they own or may be considering buying.
Reporting product safety incidents through this new, easy-to-use site will help CPSC identify product hazards quicker and provide consumers with safety information on products in and around the home.
"CPSC stayed on time and on budget in building this new database," said Chairman 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."
Following procedures set up by the law, CPSC will review all online Reports and have five business days to transmit qualifying Reports to the manufacturer, where practicable. Manufacturers then have 10 business days during which they may respond and provide comments and/or claims. At the end of the 10 day period, if all requirements are met, the Report and the manufacturer's comments will be posted on SaferProducts.gov
It is important that consumers provide CPSC with information that is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge. Reports lacking required information will not be published. Similarly, information in a report of harm determined to be materially inaccurate within the 10 days provided to manufacturers to respond will not be published. Reports that potentially contain confidential information will have such information taken out before the report is posted.
'I believe that an informed consumer is an empowered consumer,' added Chairman 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.'
On January 24, CPSC began registering businesses online, and accepting Reports though SaferProducts.gov to test the system. Since then, about 1500 Reports have been filed by consumers online. About 1400 manufacturers have signed up on the Business Portal, so they can receive a copy of a Report about their product in a timely manner via e-mail. Reports accepted during this test period will not be visible to the public but are being processed internally by CPSC as has been done with all Reports in the past.
"We will continue to accept written, phone and fax Reports, as we have for decades," said Chairman Tenenbaum. "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."
Reports received today will be visible and searchable by consumers around the beginning of April. Until then, only CPSC's recall information will be searchable within the database. For more information, go to SaferProducts.gov".