The exercise equipment manufacturer Cybex International will pay a $7.95 million civil penalty to resolve allegations it failed to report known problems with certain arm curl and press machines linked to dozens of serious consumer injuries.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a press release on February 11, announcing a settlement agreement involving defects with Cybex Arm Curl and Smith Press machines that resulted in an unreasonable risk of serious injury.
In August 2015, the CPSC announced the Cybex Arm Curl machine recall, warning that a welding problem may allow the joint to fatigue and fail, causing the handle to separate unexpectedly and strike the user in the face. The manufacturer issued another recall for the Smith Press machines on August 29, 2018, due to the potential for the weight bar to fall, posing serious impact injury hazards to the user.
A CPSC investigation revealed 85 incidents of Arm Curl machines’ handles breaking which were reported to the manufacturer, including reports of serious injuries and one report of permanent vision loss. None of those reports were passed on to the CPSC as legally required, the commission claimed.
The CPSC warned the machines may eventually break over time and constant use, creating a risk the swivel handle will fly toward the user’s face, potentially resulting in bruising, laceration or fractures.
The investigation further revealed Cybex received another 27 reports of injuries associated with the Smith Press machines, including reports of paralysis and spinal fracture, but the company failed to immediately notify the CPSC of the defect or consumer injuries.
As a result of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) violations, the agency brought charges against Cyber International Inc., which the manufacturer has agreed to settle by paying a $7.95 million civil penalty along with other requirements.
In addition to the civil penalty, Cybex International will be required to maintain an enhanced compliance program to ensure compliance with the CPSA, as well as maintain a related system of internal controls and procedures to ensure consumer injuries and product defects are properly recorded and reported to the CPSC.
The penalty agreement has been accepted provisionally by the Commission in a 3-0-1 vote, with one member of the Commission electing not to vote on the matter.