On July 21, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission increased scrutiny on purported restrictions of consumers’ “right to repair.” The statement, approved unanimously by the Commissioners, comes on the heels of the FTC’s released to Congress earlier this year. That report asserted that some manufacturers use “anticompetitive practices” to limit the ability of consumers and independent repair shops to fix and maintain products. According to the FTC, those limitations “may increase costs, limit choices, and impact consumers’ rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.” 
Continue Reading FTC Announces Increased Support for “Right to Repair”

At the Federal Trade Commission’s July 1 meeting, it finalized a new “Made in USA” Rule that was almost two decades in the making. The FTC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in June 2020 and received 700 comments from stakeholders. During that time, the FTC has aggressively policed Made in USA claims (through an enforcement policy statement), settling a historic, million dollar follow-on Made in USA enforcement action and obtaining a six-figure settlement with an online retailer.
Continue Reading FTC Finalizes “Made in USA” Rule in Partisan Split

The CPSC most commonly works with manufacturers, sellers, or those in the distribution chain to prompt them to issue warnings or recall notices to consumers. Recently, however, the CPSC has taken the far more unusual step of independently issuing its own warnings to consumers about dangerous products in three circumstances involving treadmills, youth ATVs, and bed rails.
Continue Reading Recall Roundup: April

In 1973, Congress amended the FTC Act by adding §13(b), giving the Federal Trade Commission equitable powers to remediate any violation of any law under its purview.  Using that power, the FTC has sought equitable monetary relief, including restitution and disgorgement. The lower courts routinely authorized such relief and Congress seemingly acknowledged the FTC’s power when it reauthorized the FTC Act.
Continue Reading In a Rebuke to Longstanding FTC Approach, Supreme Court Rules FTC Cannot Rely on “Injunction” Provision to Obtain Equitable Monetary Relief

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has proposed a Direct Final Rule implementing the new federal upholstered furniture flammability standard.  The Direct Final Rule, published by the CPSC on April 9, 2021, would codify California’s TB 117-2013 flammability standard as mandated by Congress, but with the following significant clarifications:
Continue Reading CPSC Proposes Clarifications for New Furniture Flammability Regulation

The Fifth Circuit recently issued an opinion concluding that the CPSC violated the APA when it issued a final rule in 2017 limiting phthalate content in children’s products. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 bans children’s toys and child care articles containing more than 0.1 percent of several phthalate chemicals because of concerns that ingestion can have harmful health effects on children.
Continue Reading Recall Roundup: March