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Fire extinguisher manufacturer’s agrees to pay $12 million for delay in reporting defects

Fire Extinguisher Company Fined for Delay in Reporting DefectsWalter Kidde Portable Equipment will pay $12 million to settle charges that the company failed to inform the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in a timely manner about problems with fire extinguishers made by the company.

Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles were recalled in 2017. The fire extinguishers could fail to discharge during a fire emergency, and their nozzles could detach, according to the recall announcement.

Some of the recalled fire extinguishers were part of an earlier recall in February 2015.

Kidde violated the Consumer Product Safety Act by significantly underreporting prior to the first recall the scope and nature of the defect and risk and the number of products and models affected, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The lawsuit alleges that Kidde also failed to immediately report to the CPSC information about nozzles detaching from fire extinguishers.

Kidde made misrepresentations to the CPSC and misused a registered safety certification mark, according to the lawsuit.

“Companies must immediately report to the CPSC information about unreasonable risks and defects that create substantial hazards,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

The court’s order requires Kidde to maintain a compliance program and internal procedures designed to ensure timely, complete, and accurate reporting to the CPSC.


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