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Costco To Pay Civil Penalty For Failure To Report Defective Trash Cans

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that Costco Wholesale, Corp. has agreed to pay a $3.85 million civil penalty regarding its failure to report defective trash cans.

The settlement resolves CPSC staff’s charges that Costco knowingly failed to report to CPSC, as required by law, that the 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 Eko Trash Can receptacle can become dislodged and expose a sharp edge, posing a laceration hazard to consumers. Costco received 92 complaints about the Eko Trash Cans, including 60 complaints from consumers who received injuries, but did not notify the CPSC immediately of the defect or risk.

On July 17, 2015, CPSC announced a recall with Eko of 367,000 Eko Trash Cans. Costco sold the Eko Trash Cans nationwide between December 2013 and May 2015, for about $50.

In addition to paying the civil penalty, Costco has agreed to maintain a compliance program designed to achieve compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act and a system of internal controls and procedures to ensure that Costco discloses information to the commission in accordance with applicable law.

Costco’s settlement does not constitute an admission of the CPSC staff’s charges, according to the CPSC.