Defective: How to look up dangerous product reports and recalls

InvestigateTV - Government websites meant to help you find out about potentially dangerous everyday products may be creating a false sense of security.

As InvestigateTV exposed in a series of stories, Congress is holding back a federal agency from outing dangerous products in real time.

If you need to find out about a recalled product, you might start with the government’s recalls website. This site instantly pulls up all of the recent recalls listed by the federal agency known as the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

But it’s taken months, if not years, for many of these products to end up on this list of recalled products.

There are a few other ways to check up on recent recalls or issues with products that you may have bought at a store or even at a yard sale.

First, you can check Safer Products, which is also a site created by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. On it, you can “report unsafe products” yourself by clicking here.

On the site, you can also search for unsafe products. You instantly get reports from other people in the U.S. that have taken the time to write about an issue they are having with a product.

The product may not be recalled, but you can see if other people are having troubles.

But the website doesn’t include reports from manufacturers and may not be able to find every complaint from a consumer in this database.

Safety experts say it’s very important you fill out the registration card you get with a product. Mailing it in to the maker allows manufacturers to notify you directly that a product you purchased is potentially defective.

Another quick tip: Search Google for the product name. See if you find other verified reviews or people reporting issues with that product on other retail sites.

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa is NBC12's On Your Side Investigator. Before joining WWBT in March of 2008 Rachel worked in Roanoke, Bristol and Harrisonburg.

Daniela Molina

Daniela Molina

Daniela is a bilingual investigative producer for InvestigateTV.