If you're hurt when using something you bought, the company that made it is supposed to tell the government.
It's possible there will be a recall on that item, but sometimes that doesn't happen.
And more and more companies are dodging that reporting rule.
In a KMPH News investigation, the feds say several manufacturers knowingly fail to report safety defects or hazards immediately to the Consumer Product Safety Commission as required by federal law.
As a result: companies could face big fines!
Bob Dolan was hurt by a yard line trimmer.
He says, "It's pretty upsetting when I hear that they just kind of ignored it."
It's a growing trend; in 2010 the C.P.S.C. hit two companies with more than a half a million dollars in fines.
And in 2011 that number increased to 10 companies - and the fines totaled more than $4 million!
It includes manufactures of defective buggies, high-end refrigerators, exercise and office equipment and even drawstring sweatshirts.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Spokesperson Scott Wolfson says, "If they are putting the health and safety of consumers at risk and keeping that information from us, they can really be held liable."
Federal law does require when a company learns a product fails to comply with safety standards, contains a defect, or creates an unreasonable risk for serious injury or death, it must immediately inform the C.P.S.C.
Attorney Christie Thompson says, "If the risk is maybe a little bump, probably wouldn't trigger an obligation to report, but if the risk is cutting off a body part or a concussion or something that's more significant then that would likely trigger an obligation to report."
If you'd like to report something you think is defective, go to www.saferproducts.gov and fill out the form.
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