The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co., Ltd., and LG Electronics USA Inc. have agreed to pay a maximum $1.825 million civil penalty to settle CPSC charges against the company regarding the failure to report defective dehumidifiers.
According to the CPSC, the civil penalty agreement settles charges that LG knowingly failed to report, as required by federal law, a defect and an unreasonable risk of serious injury with several models of the company’s Kenmore dehumidifiers.
The CPSC stated that fires caused by the defective dehumidifiers resulted in millions of dollars of property damage. Due to a defective fan, the dehumidifiers overheated, smoked, melted or caught fire, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.
According to the CPSC’s statement, LG received dozens of reports of the dehumidifiers catching fire and causing extensive property damage to consumers’ homes since 2003. Further, it claimed that by the time the dehumidifiers were recalled in 2012, LG was aware of 107 reports of incidents, with more than $7 million in property damage and three reports of smoke inhalation.
LG manufactured and imported about 795,000 of the defective Kenmore brand dehumidifiers. The dehumidifiers were recalled in 2012 and the recall was re-announced in July 2013.
The CPSC also said that in addition to paying the civil penalty, the maximum under conduct laws before 2009, LG has agreed to maintain a compliance program designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act, and has agreed to maintain a related series of internal controls and procedures.
Under the settlement, the statement also reported that LG does not admit to the CPSC charges.