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Company to pay $500,000 fine over defective fans

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Jan 06 2009 at 5:18 PM
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Lasko Products Inc., a West Chester manufacturer of fans and space heaters, will pay $500,000 to settle allegations that it did not promptly inform regulators about defective fans, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said yesterday.

According to CPSC, Lasko waited many years before reporting problems consumers experienced with fans overheating, smoking, melting, catching fire, and, in some cases, burning users or their homes.

The agency said that Lasko started receiving complaints about portable box and floor fans in November 2002 but failed to fully report them to the CPSC until September 2005. The issue was due to a faulty motor. Lasko discontinue those models.

“To have incidences of fire, to have incidences where somebody has been burned, and to not immediately turn that information over to CPSC is wholly unacceptable,” said Scott Wolfson, a spokesman representing the agency.

“A company cannot and should not, under federal law, wait years - years - to report to the federal government when there are incidents that rise to the level of fires with a consumer product, incidents that lead to personal injury of consumers. The law has the word immediately in it,” Wolfson said.

The agency said that such incidents must be reported to them within 10 days once the company’s upper management has been reported.

Though Lasko has agreed to the settlement, the company denied that it intentionally violated the law.

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