Consumer groups are saying today that the “stove tipping” problem that ended in a class action settlement with Sears should have been handled by the CPSC, but that agency refused to take meaningful action that would have prevented a lawsuit.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) did not protect consumers from the hazardous stoves because existing agency regulations require a prolonged dialogue with manufacturers of hazardous products, the consumer groups said.
“Currently, CPSC must give companies 30 days notice, allowing them time to file suit to stop the CPSC from alerting the public about hazardous products. Essentially, it has to get the manufacturers’ permission, which is absurd,” Claybrook said.
Lawmakers need to end such loopholes and give the CPSC more authority in a consumer product safety reform bill now moving through Congress, she said.
In other news the CPSC did recall a Sears “My First Kenmore” play stove for tipping. From the CPSC:
Retailers: Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corp., of Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Hazard: A metal bracket connecting the door to the stove can cause a tip-over when the door is opened. This poses a risk of injury to young children.
Incidents/Injuries: Sears has received one report of the product tipping over, resulting in bruises to a child.
Meanwhile, the consumer groups say that at least 33 people have been killed and 84 injured in accidents involving real unsecured stoves. Good job, CPSC.
US safety agency failed on Sears stoves -watchdogs [Reuters]
Sears and Kmart Recall Play Stoves Due to Tip-over Hazard [CPSC]