September 23, 2014

Black & Decker Agrees to $960,000 Civil Penalty for Failing to Report Defective Grasshog XP Weed Trimmer/Edgers

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Black & Decker Inc. has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $960,000. The penalty agreement has been provisionally accepted by the Commission (5-0).

The settlement resolves CPSC staff’s allegations that Black & Decker knowingly failed to report several safety defects and hazards with the Grasshog XP immediately to CPSC, as required by federal law. CPSC staff also alleges the firm withheld information requested by CPSC staff during the course of the investigation.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers 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 fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation, standard or ban enforced by CPSC.

CPSC staff alleges Black & Decker knew, on or before May 2006, that the high-powered, electric Grasshog XP GH1000 was defective and could cause harm, but failed to report this to CPSC.

CPSC staff also alleges that Black & Decker failed to provide full information about defects with the Grasshog XP as requested in May 2006. Based on the incomplete information provided at that time, CPSC closed the case. The firm did not give CPSC staff full information about the extent of Grasshog XP defects or the mounting number of incidents and injuries until October 2006.

In July 2007, Black & Decker and CPSC announced the recall of about 200,000 Grasshog XP model GH1000 trimmer/edgers. By that time, there were more than 700 reports of incidents, including 58 injuries with the Grasshog XP. The trimmer/edgers’s spool, spool cap and pieces of trimmer string can come loose during use and become projectiles. This poses a serious laceration hazard to the user and to bystanders. The trimmer/edgers also can overheat and burn consumers. Black & Decker sold the Grasshog XP weed trimmers from November 2005 through spring 2007 for about $70.

The recall was reannounced in August 2009 with an additional 100 injuries reported. CPSC urges consumers with recalled Grasshog XP trimmer/edgers to contact Black & Decker for a free repair kit.

In agreeing to the settlement, Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc. denies CPSC staff allegations that it knowingly violated the law.

Fire It Up Safely: CPSC Recommends Safety Check Before Grilling This Summer

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to check their grills and “fire it up safely” to prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Before lighting the grill, do a safety check.

    Has your grill been recalled? Check SaferProducts.gov. If the grill has been recalled, contact the manufacturer and stop using it until you get a repair or replacement.

    Visually inspect the hoses on a gas grill for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing and that all connections are secure. Replace if necessary.

    Check for propane gas leaks. Open the gas supply valve fully and apply a soapy solution with a brush at the connection point. If bubbles appear, there is a leak. Try tightening the tank connection. If that does not stop the leak, close the gas valve and have the grill repaired by a qualified professional.

    Is the grill clean? Regularly cleaning the grill, as described in the owner’s manual, and also cleaning the grease trap, will reduce the risk of flare-ups and grease fires.

Once the safety check is complete, make sure to operate the grill as safely as possible.

    Use grills outside only in a well-ventilated area. Never use a grill indoors or in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch or under a surface that will burn. Gas and charcoal grills present a risk of fire and/or carbon monoxide poisoning that could result in injury or death. An estimated 3,800 gas or charcoal grill-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments in 2010. While almost all of the injuries were burns, a few of the charcoal grill injuries were related to carbon monoxide. There were an estimated average of eight CO-related deaths per year between 2005 and 2007 associated with charcoal grills that were used indoors or in enclosed spaces.

    Never leave a grill unattended. If a flare-up occurs, adjust the controls on the gas grill or spread out the coals on a charcoal grill to lower the temperature. If a grease fire occurs, turn off the gas grill and use baking soda and or a kitchen fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

    Keep the grill hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.

    Keep children away from the grill area. The outside surface of a grill can get hot and burn when touched.

Recall: STIHL Yard Power Products Due to Burn and Fire Hazards

Name of Product: Gas powered STIHL trimmers, brushcutters, KombiMotors, hedge trimmers, edgers, clearing saws, pole pruners, and backpack blowers that utilize a toolless fuel cap

Units: About 2.3 million

Manufacturer: STIHL Inc., of Virginia Beach, Va.

Hazard: The level of ethanol and other fuel additives can distort the toolless fuel cap, allowing fuel to spill, posing a fire and burn hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: STIHL has received 81 reports of difficulty installing and/or removing the fuel caps and fuel spillage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The following yard power tools and model numbers are included in this recall:

Blower, backpack BR 500 Up to 284053456
BR 550 Up to 284053456
BR 600 Up to 284053456
BR 600 Magnum Up to 284053456

Hedge Trimmer, extended reach HL 90K Up to 284101483
HL 100
HL 100 Up to 284101483
HL 100 K Up to 284101483

Pole Pruner HT 56 C-E Up to 284398635
HT 131
HT 100 Up to 284097165
HT 101 Up to 284097165
HT 130 Up to 284097165
HT 131 Up to 284097165

Edger FC 56 C-E Up to 284180999
FC 70 C-E
FC 70 C-E Up to 284180999
FC 90 Up to 284012099
FC 95 Up to 284012099
FC 100 Up to 284012099
FC 110 Up to 284012099

Trimmer/Brushcutter FS 40 C-E Up to 284180999
FS 110 R
FS 56 C-E Up to 284180999
FS 56 RC-E Up to 284180999
FS 70 RC-E Up to 284180999
FS 90 Up to 284012099
FS 90 R Up to 284012099
FS 100 RX Up to 284012099
FS 110 Up to 284012099
FS 110 R Up to 284012099
FS 110 RX Up to 284012099
FS 130 Up to 284012099
FS 130 R Up to 284012099

Clearing Saw FS 310 Up to 284012099
FS 310

KombiEngine KM 56 RC-E Up to 284180999
KM 130 R
KM 90 R Up to 284012099
KM 110 R Up to 284012099
KM 130 R Up to 284012099

Visit STIHL’s website, www.stihlusa.com for additional photos of the power tools involved and photos of the toolless fuel cap.

Sold at: Authorized STIHL dealers nationwide from July 2002 through May 2011 for between $190 and $650.

Manufactured in:
United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using these products and return them to an authorized STIHL dealer for a free repair. Consumers can contact STIHL for instructions on identifying these toolless fuel caps.

Consumer Contact:
For additional information, contact STIHL toll-free at (800) 233-4729 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.stihlusa.com or e-mail to stihlrecall@stihl.us

Recall: Kohler Engines Sold with Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, and Troy-Bilt Riding Lawn Tractors

Name of Product: Kohler Courage Engines

Units: About 10,000

Manufacturer: Kohler Co., of Kohler, Wis.

Hazard: A wire connector on the engine can become disconnected causing the operator’s seat switch to fail. When this happens, the blades will not shut down, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves Kohler Courage twin-cylinder engines sold with three brands of lawn tractors: Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, and Troy-Bilt. The vertical-shaft gasoline engines range in horsepower from 20 to 25. Engines included in this recall have serial numbers with the first five digits beginning with 41028 through 41056. Serial numbers can be found on the black engine cover.

Sold at: Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Company stores, and by authorized Cub Cadet dealers nationwide from February 2011 through April 2011 for between $1,500 and $5,700.

Manufactured in: USA

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the lawn tractors and contact an authorized Kohler dealer or the retail location where the tractor was purchased for a free inspection and repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Kohler Co. at (800) 451-2294 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.kohlerengines.com

The complete listing of all recalled models can be found at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11215.html

A Dishwasher for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Remember when you had your last cookout and afterwards you and all of your guests carried the plates, pots and pans indoors to be put in the dishwasher? Those days are now a thing of the past. Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet has produced the first outdoor dishwasher specifically designed to work outside and withstand the harshness of the elements.

“The introduction of the outdoor dishwasher has created the only truly complete outdoor kitchen equipment line, giving homeowners independence from their indoor kitchens.” said Pantelis A. “Pete” Georgiadis, president of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.

The new dishwasher features a unique wash system designed to clean dishes that have been sitting outdoors or pots and pans that have been over the heat of a grill fire. The outdoor dishwasher was designed with an extra large tub to accommodate the special demands that come from cooking and serving meals outdoors. Its adjustable-height dual rack system offers maximum flexibility. Able to be moved up and down to handle some of the biggest pots and serving platters, it features a maximum clearance space of 15 ¼” inches between each rack.

The outdoor dishwasher features technology that doesn’t waste water. It uses as little as 3.8 gallons in a wash program, ensuring the optimum water level is used for each load. Sensors detect when the quantity of water matches the selected wash program, automatically adjusting water levels even if a flipped-over bowl fills with and reduces some of the available wash water.

At $4,990, the outdoor dishwasher will be available for purchase in summer 2011 through the network of dealers that carry Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet equipment, certified design professionals or directly at www.kalamazoogourmet.com.

Recall: Sno-Tek Snow Blowers by Liquid Combustion Technology Due to Laceration Hazard

Name of Product: Sno-Tek snow blowers

Units: About 1,500 in the U.S. and 300 in Canada

Importer: Liquid Combustion Technology, LLC (LCT), of Travelers Rest, S.C.

Manufacturer: Ariens, of Brillion, Wis.

Hazard: The snow blower’s engine is missing a safety shield above the side mounted electric starter, posing a laceration hazard to consumer’s fingers.

Injuries/Incidents: None reported.

Description: The recalled snow blowers have a LCT StormForce engine with “Sno-Tek” printed across a metal handlebar plate. Snow blowers with model numbers 920402 and 920403 and UPC codes 5105803094 and 5105803095 are included in this recall. Only snow blowers with engine model number PW1HK18650781DE-ABGOQUVE1M with serial numbers ranging from 1065H04008325A through 1065H04012104A are affected by this recall. The product model number and UPC codes are printed on a label attached to the outside of the gear box near the left wheel.

Sold at: Home Depot and Ariens authorized dealers nationwide and HD.com in Canada from August 2010 through September 2010 for between about $700 and $800.

Manufactured in: Snow blower in United States, engine in China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using these snow blowers and contact LCT for a free repair kit and installation instructions or return them to an authorized LCT service center location for a free repair. LCT’s Service Network toll free number is (800) 558-5402

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact LCT at (800) 552-8094 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.LCTUSA.com

Note: Health Canada’s press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1275

Recall: American Honda Snowblowers Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Honda snowblowers

Units: About 18,500

Importer: American Honda Motor Co. Inc., of Torrance, Calif.

Hazard: The fuel tank joint and O-ring located on the underside of the fuel tank can seep or drip fuel over time, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Honda has received 90 reports of fuel either seeping or dripping. No fires have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Honda snowblowers with model numbers and frame serial numbers listed below. The snowblowers are red and black. The frame serial number is located on the rear of the machine just below the engine. The name Honda and the model number are located on the side of the front scoop.

Model Frame Serial Number
HS724 SZBE-1037913 through 1046577
HS928 SZAS-1151080 through 1169012
HS1132 SZBF-1018734 through 1025998

Sold at: Honda Power Equipment dealers nationwide from April 2005 through November 2010 for between $2,000 and $3,400.

Manufactured in: Japan

Remedy:
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled snowblowers and contact any Honda Power Equipment dealer to arrange for a free fuel tank joint and O-ring replacement. Registered owners of the recalled snowblowers will be mailed a notice.

Consumer Contact:
For additional information, contact Honda at (888) 888-3139 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.hondapowerequipment.com
Picture of Recalled Snowblower

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx

Recall: STIHL Inc. Chain Saws Due to Laceration Hazard

Name of Product: STIHL MS 361C chain saws (C-Q version)

Units: About 5,000

Manufacturer: STIHL Incorporated of Virginia Beach, Va.

Hazard: The throttle trigger may stick after it has been released by the operator, which could cause the engine to continue to run at a speed that drives the saw chain. This can pose a risk of a laceration injury to the user or a bystander.

Incidents/Injuries: STIHL has received three reports of the throttle trigger sticking. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled chain saws have a rear-handle activated chain brake (C-Q version) and have an orange top casing, gray base, black handle and “STIHL MS 361C” printed in an orange circle on the side of the unit.

Sold at: Authorized STIHL dealers nationwide from February 2004 through August 2009 for about $640.

Manufactured in: United States.

Remedy: Consumers should stop using these chain saws immediately and return them to an authorized STIHL dealer for a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact STIHL at (800) 610-6677 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit STIHL’s website at www.stihlusa.com