5 On Your Side

Consumer Reports: Decrease in product quality increases recalls

Posted May 30, 2012 5:00 p.m. EDT
Updated May 30, 2012 6:11 p.m. EDT

— Every single day, products are recalled due to a safety violation of one type or another. In most households, at least a few items probably need to be thrown out because of potential risks. 

According to experts with Consumer Reports, the number of recalls have increased in recent years because of a significant "decrease in quality."

"A lot of the manufacturing has been outsourced to overseas plants," Consumer Reports' Don Mays said. "We've been finding problems with products coming in that are not even compliant with federal regulations."

Despite federal standards, some cribs, strollers, toys and other products still fail Consumer Reports' tests. 

"Here's part of the problem, until very recently, products like toys didn't have to be tests before they came to market," Mays said. 

New laws now require that toys and even products like strollers and high chairs, be tested by an independent and accredited lab.

Despite the increase in safety and testing before products hit the market, the issue of product recalls is still a major one, Consumer Reports says. 

Only about 10 to 15 percent of recalled products end up being returned, leaving a large amount of unsafe products in homes across the country simply because people aren't aware of a particular recall. 

To help educate people, Consumer Reports launched a website, Safer Products, to help consumers track recalls. The site lets people search the latest recalls on all products, including items for kids.