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From Products Liability Law Daily, October 4, 2016

Best Buy’s continued sale of recalled products ends with $3.8M penalty

By Colleen Kave, J.D.

Best Buy Co., Inc., of Richfield, Minnesota, has agreed to pay a $3.8 million civil penalty for distributing and selling previously recalled consumer products, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced. According to the penalty agreement, which has been accepted provisionally by the Commission in a 4 to 1 vote, Best Buy has also pledged to design and maintain a program to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), including a program for the appropriate disposal of recalled products, and to comply with and maintain a system of internal controls and procedures. Best Buy’s settlement of this matter does not constitute an admission of CPSC staff’s charge (In the Matter of Best Buy Co., Inc., September 20, 2016; 81 FR 69047, October 5, 2016).

The penalty agreement settles charges that the company knowingly sold and distributed 16 different recalled products during a five year period from September 2010 through October 2015. According to CPSC staff, Best Buy failed to implement adequate procedures to accurately identify, quarantine, and prevent the sales of the recalled products across all of its supply channels. Additionally, the agency alleged that in some cases, Best Buy, failed to permanently block product codes due to inaccurate information that signaled that the recalled product was not in inventory. At other times, the blocked codes were reactivated prematurely, and in a few cases, overridden. Even after Best Buy told CPSC that it had enacted measures to reduce the risk of sales of recalled products, those sales continued.

The recalled products sold by Best Buy during the five-year period at issue included:

  • Toshiba Satellite Notebook Computers, recalled on September 2, 2010 (Recall No. 10-330);
  • iSi North America Twist ‘n Sparkle Beverage Carbonation Systems, recalled on July 5, 2012 (Recall No. 12-217);
  • LG Electronics Gas Dryers, recalled on August 21, 2012 (Recall No. 12-251);
  • GE Dishwashers, recalled on August 9, 2012 (Recall No. 12-244);
  • Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital Cameras, recalled on August 14, 2012;
  • GE Profile Front Load Washers, recalled on October 3, 2012 (Recall No. 12-246);
  • Sauder Woodworking Gruga Office Chairs, recalled on November 7, 2012 (Recall No. 13-030);
  • LG Electronics Electric Ranges, recalled on November 8, 2012 (Recall No. 13-031);
  • LG Electronics Top-Loading Washing Machines, recalled on December 18, 2012 (Recall No. 13-073);
  • Samsonite Dual-Wattage Travel Converters, recalled on February 12, 2013 (Recall No. 13-119);
  • Definitive Technology SuperCube 2000 Subwoofers, recalled on March 28, 2013 (Recall No. 13-158);
  • Gree Dehumidifiers, recalled on September 12, 2013 (Recall No. 13-283);
  • Frigidaire Professional Blenders, recalled on September 19, 2013 (Recall No. 13-288);
  • Schneider Electric APC Surge Arrest Surge Protectors, recalled on October 3, 2013 (Recall No. 14-001);
  • Coby 32-inch Flat Screen Televisions, recalled on December 12, 2013 (Recall No. 14-054); and
  • Whirlpool Jenn-Air Wall Ovens, recalled on July 29, 2015 (Recall No. 15-200).

On July 24, 2014, CPSC and Best Buy jointly re-announced the recalls of 10 products that Best Buy had been selling after the original recalls had been announced.

The case is CPSC Docket No. 16-C0005.

Companies: Best Buy Co., Inc.

MainStory: TopStory SettlementAgreementsNews DamagesNews HouseholdProductsNews RecallNewsStory

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