CPSC, Soda Vending Machine Industry Labeling Campaign Warns Of Deaths And Injuries

November 2, 1995
Release Number: 96011

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), seven soda can vending machine manufacturers are announcing an industry-wide warning label campaign to alert consumers that death or injury may result from rocking or tilting soda can vending machines.

In 1995, CPSC received reports of at least two consumers who died and one who was severely injured after the soda machines they were rocking fell on them. CPSC is aware of at least 37 deaths and 113 injuries since 1978 that have resulted from consumers rocking or tilting the machines in an attempt to obtain free soda or money.

The vending machine manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to provide warning labels for new machines and to make the labels available for the approximately 1.7 million machines already in the marketplace. One label states, "Warning! Never rock or tilt. Machine can fall over and cause serious injury or death. Vending machine will not dispense free product." Other labels have similar warnings, with graphics illustrating that machines can tip. While some manufacturers have used warning labels in the past, this is the first industry-wide warning label campaign.

The seven soda can vending machine manufacturers involved in this warning label campaign are: Cavalier Corporation of Chattanooga, Tenn.; Dixie Narco of Williston, S.C.;R.O. International of Roselle, Ill.; Rowe International of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Royal Vendors of Kearneysville, W.Va.; Vendo Company of Fresno, Calif.; and The Wittern Group of Des Moines, Iowa.

"This is another example of industry working voluntarily with CPSC without costly and time-consuming litigation to help keep consumers safe," CPSC Chairman Ann Brown said.

For more information, consumers should contact CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772.