The proposed changes to the CPSC’s voluntary recall program, which were announced in November 2013, have been widely criticized. In a recent letter to the CPSC’s congressional oversight committee, former CPSC Chairperson Ann Brown stated that the proposed changes threaten the continued success and viability of the CPSC’s Fast Track recall program. Specifically, Brown stated:
Now this award winning program appears to face the risk of being unintentionally undermined by a rule proposed by the CPSC in November 2013 that is intended to enhance voluntary recalls by setting forth principles and guidelines for the content and form of voluntary recall notices that firms provide as part of corrective action plans. One of the CPSC’s proposals is to prohibit firms desiring to conduct a voluntary recall from disclaiming that there is a hazard presented by their product unless the Commission agrees to the disclaimer. I am concerned that this proposal if adopted could undermine the efficacy of the Fast Track program. Another proposal would classify a voluntary Corrective Action Plan (CAP) as “legally binding” thus transforming a CAP into a Consent Decree, potentially delaying an otherwise effective recall weeks or even months due to haggling over legalities. A Fast Track procedure would be rendered impossible under these circumstances.
Former Commissioner Nancy Nord has also been critical of the proposed changes, stating that the proposed changes are “ill advised” and will make the recall process “more difficult, costly, and unwieldy for companies conducting recalls.”