Electrolux faces penalty for not reporting oven safety hazard

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WASHINGTON D.C. —

The Justice Department’s Civil Division announced Wednesday that Electrolux Home Products Inc., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $750,000 to settle allegations that it knowingly failed to report a safety hazard associated with certain wall ovens sold to customers to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Electrolux has agreed to establish and maintain a compliance program with internal recordkeeping and monitoring systems to keep track of information about product safety hazards.

In a complaint filed on behalf of the CPSC in U.S. District Court, the United States alleged that Electrolux became aware of incidents in which gas could build up in the oven during broiling and escape and ignite, causing burn and fire hazards to consumers.

Electrolux imported and distributed approximately 7,800 of the Kenmore ovens that were sold by Sears and other U.S. stores.

Under the Consumer Product Safety Act, manufacturers, distributors and retails are required to report product hazards to the CPSC.

The U.S. alleged that between February 2006 and November 2007, Electrolux knew 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. 

During the relevant time period, Electrolux’s principal place of business was in Augusta, Georgia. A recall of the ovens was announced in 2008. In agreeing to settle, Electrolux has not admitted that it knowingly violated the CPSA.

For more information, click here for the Justice Department's release.