U.S. CPSC Issues $650K Fine Over Recalled Inflatable Baby Floats
The manufacturers of several inflatable baby flots, which contained defects posing a risk of drowning for small children, have agreed to pay a civil penalty of more than half a million dollars for failing to report the problems or issue a prompt recall.
According to a statement issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Wednesday, Aqua-Leisure Industries, Inc. has agreed to pay $650,000 after failing to report at least 24 known incidents involving problems with the seats on baby boats or floatation devices, which have since been recalled from the market. The federal regulatory agency has voted 4-0 to provisionally accept the settlement.
Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to U.S. CPSC within 24 hours after learning of information that may pose a substantial product hazard or risk of serious injury or death.
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Aqua-Leisure produced baby boats that are inflatable floats for small children. In 2001 Aqua-Leisure conducted a recall of 90,000 floats after reports suggested that the seats may be prone to rip, tear, split or separate, potentially causing children to fall into the water unexpectedly.
Between July 2003 and October 31, 2008, Aqua-Leisure became aware of at least 24 additional consumer complaints involving children becoming submerged under water because of a defective seat. However, the manufacturer failed to report the information to the CPSC until May 2009.
Shortly after the incidents were reported to the CPSC, Aqua Leisure issued an expanded baby boat recall in July 2009, impacting 4 million inflatable devices sold nationwide between December 2002 through June 2009. The baby boats were sold for between $8 and $15 at mass merchandise retailers including Target, Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Dollar General, Kmart, Walgreens, Ace Hardware, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
For a full list of recalled products with name and model numbers visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09261.html
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