WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Lasko Products Inc., of West Chester, Pa., has agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty. The penalty (pdf), which has been provisionally accepted by the Commission, settles allegations that the company failed to immediately report incidents about its defective portable fans.
These box and floor fans were sold between 2000 and 2004. In February 2006, CPSC and Lasko announced the recall of about 5.6 million fans.
CPSC alleged that Lasko failed to report to the government in a timely manner that fans sold by the firm could overheat, smoke, or catch fire, and pose fire and burn hazards to consumers.
Between November 2002 and September 2005, Lasko received about 42 reports of fans overheating, smoking, melting, or catching fire, which resulted in nine personal injuries and property damage. Lasko did not fully report the incidents to CPSC until September 2005.
Consumers who have the recalled fans can still receive a free fan cord adaptor, designed to shut off the fan motor if overheating occurs. Contact Lasko at (800) 984-3311, or visit the firm's Web site at www.laskoproducts.com/recall/recall_fans.html
Federal law requires firms to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates any consumer product safety rule, or any other rule, regulation, standard, or ban enforced by CPSC.
In agreeing to settle the matter, Lasko denies that it knowingly violated the law.