Today’s settlement agreement with Whirlpool once again reaffirms the Commission’s resolve when it comes to holding companies that break the law accountable. When a company keeps silent about the potential risk of severe injury from one of its products, that company must pay a price. The message behind CPSC’s settlement agreement with Whirlpool is clear: placing unsuspecting consumers at ongoing risk—while a company has information about a potential defect—is unacceptable. Timely reporting to the CPSC is essential, and failure to do so will have consequences.
As our FY 2023 Operating Plan makes clear under an amendment I included, civil penalty assessments are an important priority for the Commission. Raising the maximum penalties allowable by statute so that penalties are not considered the cost of doing business should also be high on the agenda of the consumer protection community. This action reaffirms my commitment to using all of our tools to enforce the law.