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About companies' obligations to report dangerous products

Any company in Colorado that deals directly with a product that is found to be in violation of established safety standards must report the safety violation immediately. The report should be mailed to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Office of Compliance and Field Operations, filed electronically on their website or called into the CPSC by phone.

A company that is obligated to report a dangerous product to the CPSC may be the product manufacturer, importer, distributor or seller. Information that may lead to the necessity for a dangerous product to be reported could be gained through consumer complaints about the product or products liability claims. A company may also learn important information about a dangerous product through warranty returns, production problems or product testing.

Companies are expected to report a hazardous product within 24 hours of learning information about the product that is reportable. Although the product may still need to be tested in order to determine whether or not it is actually dangerous, the CPSC advises companies to report a potential hazard as soon as it is detected. While the company is allowed to take a period of 10 days to investigate the potential defect, the CPSC will later evaluate the situation and may rule that the company should have reported the defect earlier.

How long a company took to report a potential product hazard after learning about it might be an important factor in determining its liability for consumers' injuries. An individual who is claiming damages after being injured by a hazardous product might want to consult an attorney about what parties can be listed as defendants in their claim. In some cases, several different parties along the product's manufacturing and supply chain may hold some liability for the resulting injuries.

Source: US Consumer Product Safety Commission, "1. What and Where to Report", October 21, 2014

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