October 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.

Recall: Haier America and Black and Decker Chest Freezers Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Chest Freezers

Units: About 67,500

Importer: Haier America Trading LLC, New York, N.Y.

Hazard
: A capacitor in the freezer’s circuitry can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries
: Haier America and CPSC have received reports of 18 incidents, including four reports of fires with minor property damage, consisting of smoke damage, damage to a wall, and food spoilage. There have been no reports of injuries.

Description: This recall involves the Black & Decker® Model BFE53 and Haier® Model ESNCM053E 5.3 cubic foot capacity white chest freezers. “Black & Decker” is printed at the front upper-right corner or “Haier” is printed on the front upper-left corner of the freezer. “Black & Decker” or “Haier,” the model number, the unit’s serial number and other information are printed on a rating label at the top center of the back of the freezer. Only Model BFE53 and Model ESNCM053E freezers with serial numbers beginning as follows are included in this recall:

Beginning of Serial Number
on Rating Label
1001
1002
1003
1004
1005
1006
1007

Sold at: Black & Decker Model BFE53 was sold exclusively at Wal-Mart nationwide from January 2010 through September 2010, for about $150. Haier Model ESNCM053E was sold through Amazon.com and other retailers from May 2010 through October 2010 for between $220 to $290.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately unplug their freezer and contact the company to schedule an appointment for a free repair to the freezer.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, call the company toll-free at (877) 878-7579 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Sundays or visit the firm’s website at www.chestfreezerrecall.com

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 them about it by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx

Recall: Black & Decker Cordless Electric Lawnmowers Due to Laceration Hazard

Name of Product: Black & Decker and Craftsman brand cordless electric lawnmowers

Units: About 160,000 (these lawnmowers were previously recalled in September 2002 for a fire hazard, and that recall was expanded in August 2006)

Manufacturer: Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc., of Towson, Md.

Hazard: The lawnmower’s motor and blade can unexpectedly turn on after the mower’s safety key is removed, posing a laceration hazard to consumers. Removing the safety key is designed to keep this from occurring.

Incidents/Injuries: Black & Decker has received 34 reports of the motor operating after removal of the safety key, including two incidents that resulted in finger lacerations, one requiring stitches.

Description: The recalled cordless electric mowers were sold under both the Black & Decker and Craftsman brand names. The recalled Black & Decker mowers have model number CMM1000 or CMM1000R. All date codes and types are included. The date code and type information are both located on a silver and black label affixed to the rear door of the mower. The Black & Decker mowers have either an orange or green deck with a black motor cover. The Craftsman-brand mowers have model number 900.370520 and include all date codes and types. The model number is located on the silver and black label affixed to the rear door of the mower. The Craftsman-brand mowers have a dark green deck with a black motor cover.

Sold at: Home center, hardware and discount stores and authorized Black & Decker dealers nationwide from September 1995 through December 2006 for about $450. Craftsman-brand mowers were sold at Sears and Orchard Supply Hardware stores nationwide from January 1998 through December 2000 for about $450.

Manufactured in: United States, Canada and Mexico

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled lawnmowers immediately and call Black & Decker or Sears for a free inspection and repair, or a credit towards a new cordless lawnmower. Consumers who had their mowers repaired as a result of the previous recalls should also have their mowers inspected and repaired as part of this recall.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, consumers with Black & Decker mowers should contact Black & Decker toll-free at (866) 229-5570 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.blackanddecker.com. Consumers with Craftsman-brand mowers should call Sears toll-free at (888) 281-5314 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Saturday or visit the firm’s website at www.sears.com


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 them about it by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx

Black & Decker In- Car Charger

Having a dead battery is never fun. Having one late at night or in the freezing snow is bad. How about late at night and in the freezing snow? Okay- enough! Dead batteries happen, but being prepared can make the situation easier.

Black & Decker has a gadget called Simple Start that can jump start a car with you not even having to get out of it. Plug the charger into your cigarette lighter and in about ten minutes, you’re good to go. To be sure it is always ready, recharge the starter once a month through your car’s cigarette lighter, or an electrical outlet.

The Simple Start also has a built in LED light and a 12 volt DC charging port for charging cell phones.

I’ve found the Simple Start online for about $40.