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Product recalls increase despite improved safety regulations

Residents of New Orleans, Louisiana, may notice they are throwing away more items in their house because the product is either defective or malfunctioning. Experts working at Consumer Reports confirm this trend, claiming an increase in product recalls in recent years reflects the decrease in product quality.

Until recently, some products, such as children's toys, did not undergo testing and were allowed into the market without any checking, resulting in recalls and product liability lawsuits. Laws have now been established that products such as cribs, strollers and toys undergo testing by an accredited independent laboratory.

Plants overseas have taken over manufacturing procedures for many household items. As a result, many finished products do not comply with federal regulations in the United States. Children's toys are among the products that frequently do not pass Consumer Reports' tests despite recently established federal regulations.

According to Consumer Reports, product recalls is still a huge issue despite the establishment of testing and safety regulations.

A large amount of products -- 85 to 90 percent -- are never returned despite product recalls simply because people are not aware of an issue. A lot of unsafe products remain in use across the country as a result of this. Consumer Reports introduced a website to raise awareness about recalled products, including children's items. Consumers can track products through the website.

A manufacturer is under a duty to produce safe products. If a defective product injures a consumer, the injured party may be able to hold the manufacturer liable and recover compensation for the injuries sustained. However, proving product liability may be a complicated legal issue, requiring expert testimony about human behavior, product design and engineering. A lawyer familiar with defective product liability issues may be able to assist an injured consumer in receiving compensation from the liable party.

Source: WRAL, "Consumer Reports: Decrease in product quality increases recalls," Monica Laliberte, May 30, 2012

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