A product that contains a defect—a design, manufacturing or marketing flaw—can be unnecessarily dangerous for consumers. A defective product can cause life-altering injuries, such as burns and broken bones. If you discover a defective product, whether or not it causes you injury, you should report it to the proper authorities to protect yourself and other consumers.
Keep the Product and its Packaging
First, keep the defective product and all of the packaging and materials that it originally came with. This can serve as evidence for the manufacturing company to prove that the product contains a defect. If the product injured you, keeping the item and its packaging can also help your lawyer build a product liability claim, as he or she will need to prove that the item is defective or dangerous.
Report the Defective Product to the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Then, report the defective product to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This is a federal organization that is dedicated to making the public aware of dangerous and defective consumer products. You can choose to remain confidential throughout the reporting process, if desired. There are multiple ways to report a defective product to the CPSC:
- You can report an unsafe product online anytime by providing details about the product and incident.
- You can report a defective product by phone at (800) 638-2772. This hotline is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET.
- You can send the CPSC an email by downloading and filling out the unsafe product report, then emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can print and send the unsafe product report by postal mail to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Attn: Reports, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814.
Upon receipt, the CPSC will review your report to determine whether it has merit. If appropriate, the CPSC may take action to protect the public, such as issuing a recall of the product, fining the product manufacturer and/or creating new regulations. The public can search the CPSC website anytime to find unsafe products that have been reported or recalled.
Contact the Department of Transportation for Defective Auto Parts
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has jurisdiction over many common types of items, including children’s toys, furniture, appliances and fireworks. If you were injured by a defective motor vehicle part, however, you will file your report with the Department of Transportation. You can report a defective and dangerous car, truck or motorcycle part by filling out the online complaint form or calling the Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
Report Defective Food, Drugs and Cosmetics to the Food and Drug Administration
Finally, if the defective product is a type of food, drink, drug, medical device or cosmetic item sold to the public, your report will go to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You can report a problem with a product that falls under the FDA’s jurisdiction using the correct online reporting form. You can also get more information by calling (888) 463-6332. To report an emergency involving a defective product, call (866) 300-4374 or (301) 796-8240 (or 911 if the emergency is life-threatening).
Notify the Manufacturer or Retailer
After you report a defective product to the correct authority, you should also notify the manufacturer, distributor or retailer. They may be unaware of the defect and need to take action to protect other consumers, such as pulling the item from the shelves. Most products have information on the label about how to get in touch with the manufacturer for complaints or concerns.
What Happens After You Report a Defective Product?
Your next step should be to contact a product liability lawyer in Albuquerque to discuss a potential claim. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages, and more from the manufacturing company of a defective product. Discuss your case at no cost or obligation with an attorney at The Fine Law Firm for more information. Call (505) 889-3463 today.