Reuters is reporting that Tenenbaum attempted to persuade Chinese manufacturers of the problematic drywall to compensate US homeowners, only to fail. Only one of the 13 manufacturers of tainted China drywall—Germany's Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin)—had agreed to replace the vilified drywall product and rewire about 300 homes in what was described as a pilot project.
However, none of the other manufacturers agreed to come to the party in any form.
"We have not been able to get any of the Chinese manufacturers to come to the table to discuss our scientific findings and what, if any, they think their responsibility is to the American homeowner," Tenenbaum told reporters at a media briefing.
"We are still very hopeful that the Chinese companies can come to the table and let us explain what our findings are and see if they can participate in helping us make our homeowners get a remedy in getting the Chinese drywall out."
There have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 complaints filed with the CPSC with regard to Chinese drywall problems, the CPSC Chairwoman told Reuters. Guidelines released by the agency have demonstrated that certain samples of Chinese drywall emit hydrogen sulfide at higher levels than what is normally acceptable in the US. For many homeowners, the smell has not only made their homes uninhabitable, but raised levels of hydrogen sulfide have caused appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators to fail.
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In total, Reuters says more than 5,000 homes across the US have been beset with drywall problems. Americans, already reeling from issues relating to the overall US economy, remain angry at being impacted within home and hearth. Pressure on Chinese manufacturers to pay for defective Chinese drywall extends back to March of last year, when US senators pressed Trade Representative Ron Kirk to pursue the issue.
And despite the claim of improved recall numbers, the CPSC maintains that slightly more than half of US product recalls involve China in some fashion. China drywall is but one of those products.