Viking, the manufacturer of gas ranges that were found to be defective, has been fined $4.65 million by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It was found that their product had a design defect that enabled the devices to activate on their own. The CPSC fined Viking due to its failure to immediately report the problem.
The Charges Against Them
According to the CPSC, Viking received 170 incident reports from 2008 to 2014 regarding a particular defect in their gas ranges. The incident reports indicated that some of the ranges were spontaneously turning on by themselves, and that control knobs were unable to turn the gas ranges off.
Since they couldn’t be turned off, the surface temperatures of the gas ranges rose to extreme levels that represented a serious risk for the owners and other people in the household. The incident reports also mentioned several cases in which owners were burned when they attempted to turn off the gas ranges by unplugging the power source.
Other reports revealed that in some cases where the gas range malfunctioned, it caused property damage around the area of the gas range. Other consumers also called 911 for assistance to the problem.
These incident reports proved that Viking was very much aware of the problem. However, they didn’t immediately tell the CPSC of the problem nor did they inform the agency about the safety risk regarding the ranges. These notifications were required by federal law.
Vikings did eventually issue a recall for the affected ranges. These were ranges that were sold in a few stores in the country with prices ranging from $4,000 to $13,000. These were sold from July 2007 to June 2014.
Viking has agreed to pay the fine, and it has also implemented an improved compliance program that can help make sure that they’re always in compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act.
What Can You Expect If You’re a Consumer?
Consumers should reasonably expect the products they purchase to be safe to use and not pose a serious risk to the health and safety of the owners and household members. That’s why manufacturers are required by law to notify the CPSC if they become aware of certain problems with their products.
Manufacturers are required to notify the CPSC if their product poses a serious risk of injury to consumer or if it doesn’t comply with a consumer product safety guideline or
rule. If any user is injured by the use of the product and the manufacturer receives information about the incident, the manufacturer is also required to notify the CPSC of the information report.
Defective products can lead to serious injury and risk to safety, and it’s unconscionable that some manufacturers would not admit to the possible dangers of their products. If you or your loved one suffered an injury due to the use or malfunction of a consumer product, please give us a call. Our team of experienced product defect attorneys can help you file a suit that can provide financial assistance to cover your medical expenses and lost income.