CPSC announced today that EKO Development, Ltd., and EKO USA, LLC (collectively, EKO), have agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that EKO Development, Ltd., and EKO USA, LLC (collectively, EKO), have agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty.
The settlement resolves CPSC staff’s charges that EKO knowingly failed to report to CPSC, as required by law, that its EKO Sensible Eco Living Trash Cans contained a defect or created an unreasonable risk of serious injury.
CPSC staff charged that the black plastic protective collar in the opening on the back of the trash can receptacle can detach from the sharp metal handle, posing a laceration hazard to consumers. EKO received complaints from consumers who sustained lacerations including serious injuries from the sharp metal handle of the trash cans, and the company approved a design change to add a two-piece plastic cover to address the laceration hazard. However, EKO did not immediately notify the CPSC of the defect or risk, as required by law.
On July 17, 2015, EKO and CPSC announced a joint recall of 367,000 trash cans. The trash cans were sold exclusively at Costco Wholesale Corporation throughout the United States, from December 2013 through May 2015, for $50.
The agreement was compromised by the Commission under its statutory obligation to consider the appropriateness of the penalty to the size of the business, including how to mitigate undue adverse economic impacts on small businesses. In addition to paying the $1 million civil penalty, EKO has agreed to create, maintain and enforce a compliance program designed to ensure compliance with the CPSA, and to provide written affirmation that EKO has implemented and will enforce such a program. EKO also agreed to implement a system of internal controls and procedures to ensure that EKO reports information to the Commission in accordance with applicable law.
EKO’s settlement of this matter does not constitute an admission of CPSC staff’s charges.
The penalty agreement has been accepted provisionally by the Commission by a 3 to 2 vote.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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