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New product-recall app extends the reach of CPSC information

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is now offering a new mobile app that provides a simple way to search for product recalls on a smartphone or other mobile device.

The free app is aimed at consumers who want to know if a product they’ve bought, or are thinking of buying, has been the subject of a CPSC recall.

You might think of the CPSC as the government agency that recalls baby products. Thanks to troubling news stories about accidents involving seemingly baby-friendly clothes, toys, and beds, many parents are very alert to certain CPSC recalls.

But the commission’s work has at least the potential to affect nearly every American of any age or occupation.

In recent years, the commission has recalled many product types including power and hand tools, camping and hunting equipment, kitchen and household appliances, and computers and office furniture.

To protect yourself as a consumer, you may want to be aware of some of the best practices retailers should ordinarily observe when the CPSC issues a product recall.

Retailers should remove the recalled product from their shelves as soon as they learn of the recall. They’d also be wise to alert their employees and consider posting prominent recall notices. Finally, many will want to reach out to customers known to have purchased the recalled products and accommodate any concerns raised by a customer.

Such steps may help a reduce retailer’s exposure to legal issues. But retailers and consumers may want to think of handling of a recall properly as one sign of a trustworthy place to do business.

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