CPSC: New Requisite for Recalls; Higher Penalties Possible

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By Martina S. Barash

March 2 —A negotiated voluntary recall of a consumer product associated with a fatality will have to get the CPSC commissioners' approval, CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said.

Higher civil penalties for companies exhibiting “aberrant behavior” also are possible in the coming year, Kaye said March 2 at a product safety conference in Washington.

“We are still not halfway” to maximum penalty amounts, he said.

Kaye would like to see million-dollar penalties in the double digits for some fact patterns the Consumer Product Safety Commission is looking at, he said.

The consumer safety agency's chief expressed optimism about progress addressing some persistent hazards, including portable generators and window coverings.

“I think this is the year for window coverings,” he said.

Comments by a representative of Health Canada during a press event at the conference—the annual meeting of the International Consumer product Health and Safety Organization—also indicated possible progress on window coverings.

To contact the reporter on this story: Martina S. Barash in Washington at mbarash@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at spatrick@bna.com