October 31, 2014

Viking Range Corporation Agrees to $450,000 Civil Penalty for Failing to Report Defective Refrigerators

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Viking Range Corporation, of Greenwood, Miss., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $450,000. The penalty agreement has been provisionally accepted by the Commission.

The settlement resolves CPSC staff allegations that Viking Range Corporation was aware for years of a defect involving its refrigerator door hinge support mechanisms that resulted in incidents and injuries to consumers; yet the firm failed to report immediately to CPSC as required by federal law. Viking reported the safety defect to the Commission in April 2009, and the firm agreed to a recall in June 2009. Subsequent investigation conducted by CPSC staff uncovered that by that time the firm was aware of at least 10 reports of injuries involving Viking refrigerator hinge failures going back over several years.

CPSC and Viking Range Corporation announced a recall of more than 45,000 Viking refrigerators in June 2009. The hazard identified with the refrigerators is that refrigerator hinges and hardware that attach the doors to the refrigerator box can loosen, sag and detach, posing an impact injury hazard to consumers if the door detaches. Viking sold the refrigerators through appliance and specialty retailers from July 1999 through April 2006.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report to CPSC 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.

In agreeing to the settlement, Viking Range Corporation denies CPSC staff allegations as to the existence of a defect or hazard or that it violated the law.

Recall: Viking Range Corporation Built-In Refrigerators Due to Injury Hazard; Doors Can Detach

Name of Product: Viking Built-In Side-by-Side Refrigerator/Freezers and Refrigerators with Bottom Freezers

Units: About 45,000

Manufacturer: Viking Range Corporation, of Greenwood, Miss.

Hazard: The refrigerator’s doors can detach, posing an injury hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Viking has received about 57 reports of doors detaching, including four reports of injuries involving bruises, broken toes/fingers, and strains. Also, several incidents of minor damage to floors and counters have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Viking built-in 48-inch wide side-by-side refrigerator/freezers and the built-in 36-inch wide refrigerators with bottom freezers with model and serial numbers with date codes listed below. The refrigerators come in stainless steel and various colors and wood finishes and are built into the kitchen cabinetry. “Viking” is written on the front of the refrigerator. The model and serial numbers are located either behind the produce drawer or on the ceiling of the interior of the refrigerators. The 42-inch wide or freestanding refrigerators are not included in this recall.

Model Numbers Starting With Date Codes
VCSB481, VCSB482, DDSB482, DFSB482
DTSB482, DDBB362, VCBB360, VCBB362
DFBB362, DTBB362, DTBB363 All units
VCSB483, DDSB483, DFSB483, DTSB483 Date codes before 030104
VCSB483D, DDSB483D, DFSB483D Date codes before 030105
VCBB363 Date codes before 102005
DDBB363 Date codes before 112305
DFBB363 Date codes before 041006

The first six numbers in the serial number are the manufacture date of the unit in [mm][dd][yy] format, e.g., serial number 051903G0000000375 was manufactured on May 19, 2003 and serial number F01250210170 was manufactured on January 25, 2002.

Sold by: Appliance and specialty retailers nationwide from July 1999 through April 2006 for between $4,725 and $6,400.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers with recalled refrigerators should contact Viking immediately to schedule a free in-home repair. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled refrigerator if the door isn’t sealing properly, is sagging, or fails to open and close properly. If the door is functioning properly, consumers may continue to use the refrigerator until it has been repaired.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact Viking toll-free at (888) 345-2650 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit Viking’s Web site at www.vikingrange.com

Join the forum discussion on this post - (1) Posts