CPSC Recalled Play Stove For Tipping, Ignored Real Ones?

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
Sears and Kmart Recall Play Stoves Due to Tip-over Hazard [CPSC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. apotheosis says:

    Not BRUISES!

    Oh, the humanity.

  2. andrewe says:

    Won’t anybody please think of the children?

    /Simpsons rule

  3. chiieddy says:

    That stove is so… pink. Do they sell it in blue for boys who want to cook, or girls who hate pink?

  4. BobCoyote says:

    @apotheosis: … I don’t imagine those 33 people died of bruises.

  5. apotheosis says:

    If you read closer I think you’ll find the toy stove didn’t kill anyone.


  6. ChiefDanGeorge says:

    The article above is about a kids oven, not the real appliances which killed 33 people.

  7. Paul says:

    These items are unrelated. In the toy, the product tips when used as intended (when opening the door). In the “real” stoves, people were killed or injured when ignoring warnings and STANDING ON THE DOOR.

    3 injuries and one death have occured since 1991, involving a range where the anti-tipping bracket was not installed. 1991 was the year the industry made it mandatory that the devices come with every unit, and I think that statistic proves that the stoves are pretty much working fine and are safe, because more people die every year from drinking too much water.

    The CPSC is supposed to protect against “unreasonable” risk of injury. I think standing on a stove door, or having small children and not having an oven lock to keep them out of the device designed to cook baby-sized things is unreasonable. But since there have been so few injuries since the industry took care of this thing, and since many more people have been killed since then by drinking too much water, I think trying to manufacture outrage over oven injuries from the early 1980s is a little ridiculous.

    “A 2008 recall of a recent toy? Where were you in the 1980s when people used to get injured?”

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    @Paul: can you cite this? Because if true, WOW would that be Darwin in action. No lie: someone STANDS on an oven door, then complains? About anything?!

    I’ll reserve judgement, but if this is the case: Darwin Award.

  9. Paul says:

    @Trai_Dep: My google is failing me on the original text of the lawsuit, but even sites asking you to contact them to sue sears (search for “DEADLY STOVES,” it’s fun!) all agree that the 4 incidents since 1991 involve unattended children either opening the door and climbing on it while food was being cooked, or just sitting there, being 18 months old, when the stove drop-kicks them. I can’t bring myself to link a site encouraging people to sue Sears because I have no faith that lawyers will not take time to make me miserable too.

  10. Rachacha says:

    The CPSC published a report on their website [www.cpsc.gov] which is where I suspect the data that the websites Paul is referencing is coming from. The CPSC report has a lot of raw data that you might find interesting. About 58% of the fatalities were young children (so one can assume mis-use of the product).