ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN LAUNCHES CONSUMER RECALL HOTLINE
AG Creates Hotline Following Discovery of Retailer Compliance Failures
Chicago –Attorney General Lisa Madigan today established a new hotline to help consumers stay up to date on the latest consumer product recalls.
The recall hotline (1-888-414-7678) will help callers identify recalled products in their homes and explain how to contact companies to repair or return affected products.
“We are working to raise awareness of product recalls on all fronts,” Madigan said. “This hotline is another way for parents and consumers to learn the latest information on product recalls and ensure their family's safety.”
At a time when recalls are announced in increasing numbers, it is particularly critical that consumers have access to updated information. Given the high number of recalls, area retailers are often struggling to comply with Illinois ' recall notification laws, which require retailers that sold recalled products to post the recall notice in their stores. Investigators from the Attorney General's office recently visited Illinois retail outlets to check for compliance in posting notices following the recent recalls of Simplicity and Graco cribs and Kolcraft infant play yards. Investigators discovered that 45 percent of retailers checked had failed to post Simplicity and Graco crib recall notices in their stores, while 53 percent of retailers failed to post the Kolcraft infant play yard recall information.
To increase consumer awareness of recalls, the Attorney General's office regularly conducts compliance checks and works with retailers and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association to ensure recall information is available to consumers.
“It's not enough to post a recall on a Web site and distribute a press release,” Madigan said. “The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission and product manufacturers need to be taking greater steps to ensure that consumers who may have these dangerous products in their homes become aware of the recall and know how to respond and that retailers have sufficient information to inform their customers.”
As part of her ongoing efforts to raise awareness of recalls in general and the Simplicity crib recall in particular, Attorney General Madigan's office recently sent a letter to Simplicity urging them to undertake efforts to publicize the crib recalls.
“Because many parents and consumers remain unaware of the dangerous products in their own homes, including faulty Simplicity cribs, I have strongly encouraged the CPSC and manufacturers to do everything in their power to publicize the recall and to work with us to more proactively educate consumers.”
In addition to establishing the recall hotline, the Attorney General's office has distributed thousands of consumer alerts to local and state agencies, retailers and childcare associations to notify parents that their children may be sleeping in one of these dangerous cribs. Information about the Simplicity crib recall and recalls of other dangerous children's products can be found on the Attorney General's Web site at http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/recall.html .
The CPSC announced the Sept. 21 recall of one million Graco and Simplicity cribs as a result of multiple infant deaths due to crib design flaws and hardware failures. Reports indicate that the drop side of the cribs can detach, creating a dangerous gap in which infants can get trapped and possibly suffocate.
The CPSC also announced the Sept. 27 recall of 425,000 Kolcraft play yards following the death of a 10-month old boy who was strangled by the changing table's restraint strap.
Madigan urges all Illinois consumers to sign up for e-mail notification of recalls at www.recalls.gov .