2009-03-20 / Top Stories

Pheffer Sets Toy Recall Notification Law

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer has announced that legislation she introduced to create the Children's Product Safety and Recall Effectiveness Act of 2008, took effect March 3 (Ch. 553 of 2008). This new law will help curb the sale of recalled toys and other children's products. It also requires retailers to post recall notices.

"Over the past couple of years, millions of toys have been voluntarily recalled because of manufacturing defects. In one instance Mattel recalled over 18 million toys worldwide, including more than 9 million products in the U.S. from Polly Pocket dolls to Batman action figures to the Sarge figure from its diecast "Cars" series," Said Pheffer. "This new statue is vital in getting defective toys out of the marketplace quicker than under the previous voluntary system."

The legislation I introduced will require manufacturers to provide better safety and recall information for consumers by:

requiring manufacturers of baby products like cribs, car seats, high chairs and playpens, to include a "product safety owner card" at the time of sale;

requiring manufacturers and importers of children's products to notify consumers, distributors, retailers, the state attorney general and the Consumer Protection Board of any recalls or warnings. Once a recall is initiated, manufacturers and retailers would be required to remove the product from shelves and Web sites;

requiring certain children's products to have a label listing the manufacturer and importer and lot/batch information where applicable; and

authorizing the CPB and the attorney general to enforce these requirements and impose civil penalties.

This law establishes a labeling and notification system that helps consumers know if the crib or toy they bought is defective, so they can return or discard the product. It also imposes civil penalties for manufacturers or retailers who don't follow recall directives.

"The toys we buy for our children should be fun and educational; it is unacceptable that in recent years so many toys have had to be recalled because of safety issues. This law will help ensure that dangerous toys are kept off shelves and out of the hands of children," said Pheffer.

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