The recent Toyota recall was well publicized, but not all consumer product oversight matters will generate that kind of attention. Lack of press coverage shouldn't be misinterpreted as lack of available information. Click on the chart to learn more about which agencies oversee consumer safety for foods, toys, boats and more.
Once you determine which agency regulates the type of product you are interested in, you can often find research study results, complaints, investigations, recalls and regulations and from agency-maintained web sites. Each of these agencies also has a FOIA Electronic Reading Room with more documents.
If you can't find the information you need on the website, try calling the agency to find out whether the records are published on the Internet. Otherwise, all of these government agencies are subject to written FOIA requests.
If you want more information about the government's consumer resources, this web page from the CPSC has a more comprehensive list.