It is not surprising that many Montana residents are under the misapprehension that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the single agency that oversees defective products regulations and liability. Many believe this because CPSC has jurisdiction over a diverse array of consumer products, ranging from everyday items, such as coffee makers, to obscure products, such as the fourth of July fireworks and everything in between, like furniture and lawn mowers.

However, the CPSC is not the only agency that covers product defects. There are certain types of consumer products whose defects fall under the jurisdiction of certain other Federal agencies. One example of this would be automotive vehicles such cars, trucks, SUV’s and motorcycles who fall under the purview of the Department of Transportation. Defects that affect boats and other seafaring vessels fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Other agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cover products such as drugs and medicines, food and drink items, as well as cosmetics. It should be noted that while products such as drugs and medicine fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA, the child resistant packaging that they are sold in does not and so any defects that are centered on that specific issue are not handled by the FDA.

Defects that pertain to ammunition and guns of any caliber are handled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and just as the name suggests that agency also has jurisdiction over alcoholic products as well as tobacco and the myriad of tobacco related products that are sold in the consumer marketplace.

The regulation of what is considered safe for use falls under the purview of various Federal agencies. The area of product liability is thus a very complex field. For any interested in finding out about product liability may find it helpful to contact a product liability or personal injury law firm.

Source:, “Products Under the Jurisdiction of Other Federal Agencies and Federal Links,” accessed on March 9. 2015