Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

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How to Send a Defective Helmet to CPSC

Summary: How we send to CPSC's Compliance Division an apparently defective helmet or one we have reason to believe does not meet their helmet standard.


Director, Office of Compliance
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Washington, DC 20207

Dear Mr. Director:
Enclosed is a Xxxxxx Xxxxx helmet. The box carries the address of the [manufacturer] [importer] [retailer].

The box and a sticker inside the helmet certify that it passes the CPSC bicycle helmet standard. We are concerned that
[apparent problem]
may cause this helmet not to meet the standard's requirements, and recommend that you test this model in your lab.

Sincerely yours,

Title if any

What Response Should You Expect?

None. None at all. CPSC's compliance office is staffed with competent and conscientious civil servants who do their jobs as well as possible under some difficult conditions but have been told that they must never under any circumstances divulge to anyone but the manufacturer the results of their investigations until an actual recall is announced. None of the helmets we have ever sent to them has been recalled. Attempts to ask questions about the process or the results of testing produce a "deer in the headlights" reaction and no information. But we continue sending them helmets, and we know that some manufacturers rat out their competitors, because it is the only way to do anything about a sub-standard helmet being sold in the marketplace. We recommend that you do too, but don't expect gratifying feedback!

You can use CPSC's website

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at 800-638-2772 or visit CPSC's website at www.cpsc.gov.

You can also report defective products at SaferProducts.gov.