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Consumers waiting longer for repairs, replacements of recalled products due to pandemic

Millions of Boppy Loungers recalled after being linked to infant deaths
Posted at 5:24 AM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 11:38:08-04

To check and see if any products inside your home are recalled, you can visit cpsc.gov. You can also visit the recall page for Kids in Danger.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports staffing and supply chain issues are impacting the recall process. Meaning depending on the recalled product, consumers may have to wait longer for a repair or replacement.

A spokesperson for the federal agency told the I-Team there are "no refund delays for the most part" but "some replacement delays up to several months."

"If the fix is a new part, those companies might be having problems getting it, which would slow down the time before a consumer has a safe product," said Nancy Cowles. She's the executive director of the non-profit, Kids in Danger.

Her company is dedicated to fighting for product safety. Each month, Kids in Danger alerts consumers about children's product recalls.

In October alone, manufacturers announced recalls for the Boppy Newborn Loungers, toddler bike helmets, car seats, and kids' ATVs.

Cowles worries some consumers may continue to use recalled products if they can't get through to the manufacturer, possibly due to staffing shortages across the country.

"If they try and log on once, and there was no one in the company's office, they may not get back to it and may just go on using that product," said Cowles.

She feels if a company sold a recalled product, it's their responsibility to reach consumers any way they can, including online.

"Our research shows that most companies don't use social media to talk about recalls," she said.

Behind the scenes, a CPSC spokesperson told us it "works with recalling firms to address delays when we become aware of them."

Cowles says consumers themselves need to stay on top of the recall news. She stresses why it's so important.

"Kids in Danger was founded by a family whose son was killed by a recalled portable crib. It had been recalled five years before his death. Neither the childcare facility where the crib was, nor the parents, or even the state inspector who had just been there realized the crib was recalled. That's the important thing to know about recalls. They're not going to look broken. They're not going to look unsafe necessarily. It's a hidden defect, often a design flaw."

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