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Product Recalls and Government Resources

Federal agencies recall or issue warnings about hundreds of products each year.  The products which are defective are defective because of design flaws, manufacturing defects, and failure to meet safety requirements.  Recalls and warning are also issued when information arises questioning the safety of the production materials, there has been accidental contamination or tampering, and there is widespread unforeseen misuse of products.

Some recalls occur when manufacturers realize that their products are not safe for their intended use.  Even though many recalls are voluntary, some manufacturers are forced to make a recall.  The government agency that regulates consumer safety for most common products is the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  The CPSC works to reduce the risk of injuries and deaths from consumer products by:

  • developing voluntary standards with industry
  • Issuing and enforcing mandatory standards; banning consumer products if no feasible standard would adequately protect the public
  • obtaining the recall of products or arranging for their repair
  • conducting research on potential product hazards
  • informing and educating consumers through the media, state and local governments, private organizations, and by responding to consumer inquiries. 1

When the CPSC discovers products that are defective, or dangerous when used in their normal manner, they work with the manufacturer to recall the product at issue.  Those press releases are compiled by the CPSC and can be viewed by the public.  Choose here to view a list of recalls published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

It is also possible to contact the CPSC directly.

  • To report an unsafe consumer product or a product-related inquiry, call the CPSC toll-free Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or (800) 638-8270 for the hearing and speech impaired.
  • To request a free copy of our publication listing, write to us at U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. 20207.
  • For additional information, contact our nearest field office . 2

Other Federal agencies are responsible for particular consumer products.  If you would like to report a defective product, choose here to view information about the appropriate agency with which to file the report.


  1. Consumer Product Safety Commission,
  2. Consumer Product Safety Commission, .
2124 East Hanna Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46227-3314
(800) 486-4450, (317) 780-6610
Fax: (317) 780-6620
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