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Monday September 09, 2019

KID Faults CPSC and Companies' Web/Social Media Recall Efforts

Kids in Danger (KID) September 5 urged two actions to improve recalls.


First, CPSC should mandate that companies set up webpages dedicated to recalls to facilitate access to information, and companies should strengthen related social media efforts.


Second, CPSC should improve its oversight of whether companies provide correct and adequate information. Problems with the latter, observed KID, included "links that simply sent the consumer back to the CPSC announcement in an endless loop."


The ideas came in KID's report ( on recall effectiveness. The organization highlighted seven findings:

  • There were 122 recalls from July 2017 to June 2019 and posted on CPSC's website.

  • Although 117 of the 122 recalls were by companies with existing websites, 76 posted the information.

  • Although 87 of the 122 recalls were by companies with Facebook pages, 47 shared the information.

  • Although 85 of the 122 recalls were by companies with Twitter accounts, 42 shared the information.

  • Although 81 of the 122 recalls were by companies with Instagram accounts, 14 shared the information.

  • Overall, 48% of recalls were promoted via companies' social media accounts.

  • There were numerous cases of incorrect information or links to unrelated websites. In one highlighted by KID, the agency pointed to a Chinese-language site with no apparent relationship to the recall – that link was still active when PSL tested it September 5.

KID wrote:

"This obstructs the recall process altogether, as consumers cannot rely on CPSC links and must seek out information on their own, voiding the purpose of providing recall information. As a relied-upon governmental office, the CPSC must improve accuracy in linking to company websites. Also, several websites with links only link back to the CPSC page, which sends the user on a pointless loop in seeking remedy for a recall. Some company websites go to great lengths to obscure their recall notice page, assuming they have one at all, making it harder on the consumer to find information readily when researching recall information."