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NV Consumers Can Alert, and Be Alerted, on Defective Products

March 16, 2011

LAS VEGAS - Nevadans will soon have a new place they can turn to learn about consumer experiences with products found harmful because of defects, and where they can file their own safety alerts, as well. The new Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website, is now online and taking consumer complaints - and those complaints will be searchable in a couple of weeks.

Reno attorney Graham Galloway with the Nevada Justice Association applauds the move, but voices concerns about the exclusions of some products - such as cosmetics, medications and tires.

"It appears to me, that’s what happened here; that there were strong lobbyists for the tire manufacturers and for some other entities that were able to insert some exceptions to this process."

Those categories are not covered on the site because they are not under the CPSC's purview. Galloway would like to see the site used for consumer alerts on a wider range of items, rather than exempting any product category.

Galloway says he expects the website will allow the government to get information out about defective products to Nevada consumers more quickly and efficiently, while at the same time giving businesses the chance to respond.

"If you input information, the manufacturer then gets ten days to say it's incorrect. The database waits to allow that response from the manufacturer before they put anything on the Web."

It's important to note that the consumer experience information is not yet searchable, although there is a search box for recalls in the CPSC database.

Some Republicans in Congress opposed funding for the CPSC website, saying it could open the door to false reports, but the CPSC says the system has safeguards.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV