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Consumer safety measures move high-tech

It's probably time that consumers have a more high-tech route to learn about dangerously defective products and important recalls.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is finally providing something that fits the electronic age. The CPSC Recall App is available for free and can be downloaded from the CPSC's website. The app is one of several initiatives by the CPSC in order to enhance consumer protection and modernize the communication process about recalls in general.

It's unclear how many people out there get the word about dangerous products and recalls. What is clear, however, is that most people aren't responding to recall alerts. Right now, the Consumers Union website reports that only about 6 percent of consumers do anything when they learn about product recalls. That's a dismally low number, and Americans are at risk.

Currently, the app is still in "beta" mode -- which means that there are a number of bugs that need to be worked out. The CPSC is asking for user feedback to help improve the product. Currently, the home page of the app shows photos of the most recent product recalls hitting the news -- along with their recall dates. There's also a search feature that users can manipulate to look for specific products by name, model or date.

The app isn't entirely convenient, however. Many users thought they were on the CPSC web site itself and didn't realize they'd have to transfer to that site for more information. Nor is there any way for users to set alerts so that they can learn if an important product (like their family car or a baby's crib) has been recalled.

If you've been injured due to a defective product or a loved one has suffered injury or death from one, it's important to seek legal advice about your rights.

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DelVecchio & Miller, LLC

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