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The CPSC Gets Serious About Chinese Drywall

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is getting serious about defective Chinese drywall claims. Frustrated by efforts to resolve consumer complaints through international negotiations, the agency has set up a field office in China to work with Chinese manufacturers. The office seeks to ensure that the Chinese government understands, and can more easily comply with, U.S. consumer safety regulations.

Chinese Manufacturing and U.S. Goods

CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum explained that, “By having a proactive preventive posture, we can reduce the number of recalls and keep our consumers safe.” She points out the importance of staying in close communication with China. The country supplies 45 percent of all consumer products in the U.S. market. China and Hong Kong manufacture 90 percent of all toys sold on the American market.[1]

Chinese Drywall Claims

The new CPSC field office will also continue its efforts to address U.S. product safety concerns with Chinese officials. Although some distributors have agreed to reimburse consumers, Chinese manufacturers have so far refused to participate.

Please Note: CSS Firm is not accepting or investigating Chinese Drywall claims at this time. This article is for educational purposes only.

An arrangement with German distributor Knauf Plasterboard will benefit about 300 homeowners. Lennar Corp., the third-largest homebuilder in the U.S. has set aside millions to cover claims for damage from defective Chinese drywall. However, the Chinese drywall manufacturers refuse to handle the matter through U.S. courts, leaving thousands of homeowners with few options.

Some homeowners have abandoned their properties after unsuccessful claims. They cannot live in their homes with the noxious smell of sulfur emitted by the drywall. The smell triggers headaches, sinus problems and breathing difficulties. The gas eventually corrodes the electrical wiring and all other metals in the home as well.

Insurance Will Not Pay for the Damage

Homeowner’s insurance is no help either. In one of the hardest hit states, Florida, insurers have been canceling insurance on homes affected by the drywall. Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is Florida’s public insurance company for those who cannot secure coverage on the standard market.[2] The company is dropping coverage for hundreds of homeowners who were forced to abandon their homes after Chinese drywall fumes damaged their health. The homeowners cannot stay in their tainted homes, so the insurer is using the vacancy clause in their policies to cancel coverage.

Why Chinese Drywall Defect Claims are Different

The Chinese Drywall case is not easily solved like other defective Chinese product problems. In the past, U.S. distributors agreed to recall defective foreign products voluntarily and offered refunds or replacements to consumers. This method worked well for portable products like toys and small appliances. However, defective drywall requires remediation and replacement of not just the dry wall, but all the corroded metal as well.

Please Note: CSS Firm is not accepting or investigating Chinese Drywall claims at this time. This article is for educational purposes only.


2 thoughts on “The CPSC Gets Serious About Chinese Drywall

  1. Our government have left homeowners completely out to dry on this matter. I am one of the homeowners that has been effected by the defective drywall. There is nothing we can do without our government putting pressure on these Chinese companies to make things right. It has caused my family financial and emotional hardships. I feel like the effects of this matter will stay with me and my family for years to come. We have lost our homes and any hopes of buying a new home any time soon.

  2. Thanks for the article.
    What I need, and other like me at this point, besides financial remuneration for loss (which I am not holding my breath on), is support in getting our credit re-instated.

    If this was classified as a disaster by the govt (which it is in the eyes of the victims) we would have some recourse with the credit bureaus, at the very least. The banks are doing nothing to make a distinction between us and others who are walking away from homes that are now trash, and taking it in the guts on our credit reports.

    The time this has taken to fix and the support we have had from government officials IS A JOKE. If this were a hurricane all our politicians would be out hitting photo ops and showing how much they cared.

    This whole thing has been a sorry episode in demonstrating what not working in our system to protect consumers, victims and the middle class.

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