Reading about a defective Build-A-Bear product can conjure up visions of bears coming to life to chase terrified children. The good news is that’s not happening, but the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $600,000 for failing to report toy beach chairs that resulted in injuries — including possible finger amputation.
Our wiser older siblings at Consumer Reports cite allegations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission staff that Build-A-Bear Workshop didn’t immediately let people know that the sharp edges on the folding chair’s wooden frame can “pinch, lacerate or amputate a child’s fingertip if the finger is caught within the frame as the chair is folded.” Ouch.
But while they agreed to the settlement, the company denies the allegations that there was any defect or hazard, or that they violated the law. The CPSC says Build-A-Bear knew about 10 injury reports between July 2007 and January 2009 and didn’t clue the CPSC in until March 2009.
In May of 2009, the CPSC and Build-A-Bear announced the recall of about 260,000 toy beach chairs. You know, even though Build-A-Bear won’t admit anything was wrong with them.
The CPSC says: “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.”