April 18, 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: 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

Recall:Black & Decker Random Orbit Sanders Due to Laceration Hazard

Name of Product: Black & Decker Random Orbit Sanders

Units: About 192,000

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

Hazard: The black plastic disc (called the platen) that holds the sandpaper can fly off or break apart during use and the disc, or pieces of the disc, can hit the user or those nearby, posing a laceration hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Black & Decker has received 73 reports of incidents involving the sander’s black plastic disc (platen) breaking or falling apart, including 15 reports of injuries from flying pieces, one of which involved a serious facial laceration.

Description: This recall involves Black & Decker random orbit sanders with model numbers RO400, RO400G, RO410, RO410K, RO410LW and FS3000ROS and date codes between 200701 and 200929. The sanders are orange and black. “Black & Decker” is printed on the sanders. The model number is printed on a label on the sander. The date code is stamped on the underside of the sander where the dust bag is inserted.

Sold at: Home center, hardware and discount stores and by authorized Black & Decker dealers nationwide from January 2007 through July 2009 for about $40.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled sanders and contact Black & Decker for a free replacement platen to hold the sandpaper.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Black & Decker toll-free at (866) 220-1767 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.blackanddecker.com