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From Products Liability Law Daily, May 14, 2014

Electrolux agrees to pay $750,000 civil penalty for delay in reporting oven hazard

By Joe Bichl

Electrolux Home Products, Inc., of Charlotte, North Carolina, has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $750,000 to settle allegations that it knowingly failed to report immediately to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) a safety hazard associated with certain wall ovens, according to a Justice Department news release.

A complaint filed on behalf of CPSC alleged that Electrolux became aware of incidents in which gas could build up in the oven during broiling, escape, and ignite, posing burn and fire hazards to consumers. Electrolux imported and distributed approximately 7,800 of the Kenmore ovens that were sold by Sears and other stores throughout the United States. A recall of the ovens was announced in 2008.

Under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are required to report product hazards to the CPSC. According to CPSC, between February 2006 and November 2007, Electrolux was aware of 22 consumer reports of flames shooting out of the oven when the broiler was on. The incidents resulted in consumer injuries ranging from singed hair to facial burns. It was alleged that Electrolux failed to immediately report hazards with the oven, despite the fact that Frigidaire Canada, Electrolux’s sister company, identified the defective and hazardous nature of the ovens in January 2005 and implemented a design change to fix the defect in March 2006, according to the DOJ.

“CPSC will vigorously enforce the immediate reporting requirement found in the Consumer Product Safety Act,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Bob Adler. “The federal reporting rules are aimed at protecting the safety of the American public. Delay in reporting of product defects and hazards by manufacturers, distributors or retailers can result in civil penalties and other measures designed to ensure consumer safety.”

In agreeing to settle this matter, Electrolux has not admitted that it knowingly violated the CPSA.

Companies: Electrolux Home Products, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory SettlementAgreements CPSCNewsStory HouseholdProductsNews

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