Recalls in Review: A monthly spotlight on trending regulatory enforcement issues at the CPSC.
The CPSC has been very clear that protecting children from dresser tip over is a top priority. The Commission actively monitors and tests furniture for compliance with stability standards, and frequently recalls products that present a tip over hazard. As of today, the CPSC has recalled at least thirty dressers since 1996, and five already in 2020 alone.
A review of the recalls shows that the majority (61%) were conducted despite zero reported incidents involving consumers. Most of those were based on noncompliance with the tipover standard, ASTM 2057.
ASTM 2057, the standard safety specification for clothing storage units, was revised in 2014, 2017, and most recently in 2019. Importantly, even if a product is compliant with the current standard at the time of manufacture, it could still be recalled for noncompliance with a future revised version. This has been the case in at least 2 recalls: here and here.
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About Recalls in Review: As with all things, but particularly in retail, it is important to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s trending with consumers. Regulatory enforcement is no different – it can also be subject to pop culture trends and social media fervor. And this makes sense, as sales increase for a “trending” product, the likelihood of discovering a product defect or common consumer misuse also increases. Regulators focus on popular products when monitoring the marketplace for safety issues.
As product safety lawyers, we follow the products that are likely targets for regulatory attention. Through Recalls in Review, we share our observations with you.