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For the first time since the summer of 2019, the U.S. Congress is holding an oversight hearing for the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). On July 23, 2024 at 2:00 PM ET, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee is holding an oversight hearing titled “The Fiscal

On April 30, 2024, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) published a direct final rule related to pre-filled portable fuel containers and the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act (“PFCSA”), 15 U.S.C. 2056d. The Act directed the CPSC to require flammable, liquid fuel containers of fewer than five gallons and intended for transport to include devices that impede flames from entering the container. Congress gave the CPSC the authority to either promulgate a rule or adopt an existing standard. Additionally, the Act requires the CPSC to educate consumers about dangers associated with using or storing such containers near an open flame or a source of ignition.Continue Reading Changes to CPSC’s Portable Fuel Container Safety Act Regulation Could Come as Soon as This Summer

Greetings from Orlando, FL! The Crowell product safety team is currently attending the annual meeting and training symposium of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO). We just heard keynote remarks from the Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Alexander Hoehn-Saric, and wish to share some highlights. As he did in October 2023 at the ICPHSO International Conference in Sweden, Chair Hoehn-Saric focused his remarks on addressing products sold on or through online marketplaces.

Chair Hoehn-Saric first set the stage by sharing some important data points. In 2023, the CPSC announced more than 300 product recalls; levied more than $52 million in civil penalties; engaged in 14 new mandatory safety standard rulemakings; screened more than 60,000 harmful products at the ports; and participated in numerous safety education campaigns. He also noted the budget uncertainty at the CPSC and the need to “do more with less” and stated that the CPSC will always “put consumers first” as they prioritize their work should the CPSC budget decrease.Continue Reading CPSC Chair Hoehn-Saric Addresses Annual Product Safety Conference  

On January 25, 2024, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), introduced the Consumer Advocacy and Protection (CAP) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 7096) and U.S. Senate (S 3667). The CAP Act aims to deter companies from committing safety violations by increasing CPSC’s penalty authority.

Under current law, manufacturers, importers, and distributors of consumer products are required to report immediately to the CPSC information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. If violations occur, the applicable civil penalty is a maximum of $100,000 per individual violation and $15,000,000 for a series of related violations. These amounts were adjusted for inflation in 2021, reaching $120,000 per violation and $17,150,000 for a series of related violations.Continue Reading New Bill Could Mean Higher Penalties for Failure to Report Safety Concerns

Enacted in 2022, Reese’s Law (P.L. 117-171) mandates federal safety requirements for button cell or coin batteries. This law mandates various requirements for button cell or coin batteries as well as consumer products that have or can use such batteries. The requirements range from performance to labeling and certification. Our team’s previous blog posts on Reese’s Law can be found here and here.Continue Reading CPSC to Hold January 2024 Webinar on Reese’s Law and Button Cell and Coin Battery Requirements

What if there was a way to easily see the raw materials and production process, environmental and social impact, and expected product performance of a consumer product by simply scanning a QR code? Would easy access to that information during the lifecycle of a consumer product, incentivize sustainable production and consumption, promote repair, refurbish, reuse and recycling, and reduce waste? This is the future contemplated by the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan. A future that may be obtainable through the implementation of digital product passports.Continue Reading Digital Product Passports

On Friday, CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric gave a keynote address to the International Symposium of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) in Almhult, Sweden. Hoehn-Saric focused his remarks on his stated goal for the third year of his term as chairman of the agency—addressing recalled or otherwise violative products sold on or through online marketplaces. In Hoehn-Saric’s view, consumers expect to purchase safe products on online marketplaces, and they should not need to know or discern whether a product is purchased directly from an online retailer or from an entity that has been provided access to consumers through the online platform. He complemented collaborative improvements by Amazon, eBay and Target but issued a call to action including adoption of “safety by design“ and legislative and regulatory protections.Continue Reading CPSC Chair Hoehn-Saric Focuses on Online Marketplaces at ICPHSO International Conference

On Thursday July 27, the CPSC will host a hybrid forum on lithium-ion battery safety, specifically focusing on fires in e-bikes and other micromobility products as well as the fire risks that may arise with the growing consumer market for other products containing such batteries.Continue Reading CPSC to Hold Forum on Lithium-Ion Battery Safety and Micromobility Products

On May 5, 2023, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced that it agreed to a civil penalty settlement with Generac Power Systems, Inc., (“Generac”) to resolve charges that Generac failed to report immediately to the CPSC under Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”). Specifically, the CPSC alleged that certain models of Generac’s portable generators contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard and unreasonable risk of serious injury to consumers. This settlement includes a $15,800,000 civil penalty, and requirements that Generac (1) implement and maintain a compliance program and system of internal controls and procedures designed to ensure compliance with the CPSA; and (2) file annual reports with the agency for the next three years regarding the Company’s compliance program, internal controls and procedures, internal audits of the effectiveness of the new compliance program and internal controls.Continue Reading CPSC and Company Reach Agreement on $15.8 Million Civil Penalty for Failure to Report

New parents have their hands full. Baby bouncy seats and swings offer busy caregivers a way to put an infant down but still allow him or her to see and interact with the surrounding environment. But recent recalls have led parents to think twice before going hands free.

On August 15, 2022, 4moms and the CPSC announced a recall of more than two million 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swings (versions 1.0  – 4.0) and over 220,000 RockaRoo Baby Rockers sold in the U.S. and Canada. According to the announcement, the restraint straps on the 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swing and RockaRoo Baby Rocker can dangle below the seat when the product is not in use, posing a strangulation hazard to crawling infants. On August 29, 2022, residents from North Carolina and South Carolina sued Thorley Industries, LLC (d/b/a 4moms) on behalf of nationwide class of purchasers of the recalled products in federal court in Pennsylvania.Continue Reading Litigation Recall Report: Nationwide Lawsuit Follows 4moms Recall of MamaRoo Baby Swing and RockaRoo Baby Rockers