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California’s Product Recall Safety and Protection Act

A product is deemed unsafe only if it meets the Act’s criteria

By Chris Micheli, June 21, 2022 4:08 pm

In California’s Health and Safety Code, Division 104 (Environmental Health), Part 3 (Product Safety), Chapter 2, there is the “Product Recall Safety and Protection Act,” which is contained in Sections 108040 – 108050. This Act was added to the Health and Safety Code in 2008 by Chapter 569.

Section 108040 provides that Chapter 2 is known and may be cited as the Product Recall Safety and Protection Act. Section 108042 defines the following terms: “commercial dealer,” “distributor,” “wholesaler,” “end consumer,” “first seller,” “importer,” “manufacturer,” “person,” “product,” “recall,” “retailer,” “sell,” and “sale.”

Section 108044 prohibits any commercial dealer, manufacturer, importer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer from manufacturing, remanufacturing, distributing, selling at wholesale or retail, contracting to sell or resell, leasing, or subletting, or otherwise placing into the stream of commerce, a product that is unsafe, knowing that the product is unsafe.

A product is deemed unsafe for purposes of this chapter only if it meets one or both of the following criteria: (1) The product has been recalled because it does not conform to state or federal laws and regulations setting forth standards for the product. (2) The product has been recalled for any safety hazard reason in cooperation with the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission or its staff, or voluntarily recalled for any safety hazard reason by the product’s commercial dealer, manufacturer, importer, distributor, or wholesaler, and the recall has not been rescinded.

An unsafe product may be retrofitted if the retrofit has been approved by the agency issuing the recall or warning, or the agency responsible for approving the retrofit if it is different from the agency issuing the recall or warning. A retrofitted product may be sold if it is accompanied at the time of sale by a notice declaring that it is safe to use.

Section 108046 requires a commercial dealer, manufacturer, importer, distributor, or wholesaler that has placed into the stream of commerce any unsafe product for which a recall or warning has subsequently been issued, to initiate the specified steps within 24 hours after issuing or receiving the recall notice or warning.

Section 108048 provides that nothing in Chapter 2 relieves a commercial dealer, manufacturer, importer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer from compliance with stricter requirements that may be imposed by an agency of the federal government. Finally, Section 108050 provides that any violation of Chapter 2 is subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each occurrence, up to a maximum of $20,000. In addition, the remedies under this section are in addition to, and do not supersede or limit, any and all other remedies, civil or criminal.

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