A toy manufacturer has agreed to pay a civil penalty to settle allegations that it did not give the government a timely report of a safety hazard involving a children's toy. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing that Battat Inc., of Plattsburgh, N.Y., will pay $125,000 to settle allegations that it violated federal reporting requirements associated with its Bee Bop Band Drum Set.
Between November 2001 and January 2003, Battat sold about 300,000 toy drum sets, which included centipede-shaped drumsticks. The drumstick's rubber end caps, screws connecting the caps and ball tips could break off into small parts. Small parts pose a choking hazard to young children. During this timeframe, the company received over 330 reports from consumers that the caps, screws and tips were detaching from the drumstick. There were no reports of injury. Yet, without informing CPSC, Battat modified the toy six times to try to eliminate the small parts problem.
By February 2003, CPSC had received 25 reports directly from consumers. In turn, CPSC called on the company to report to the Commission, in full. Battat submitted a full report that same month. Although Battat and CPSC were not able to replicate the small parts hazard during testing, the firm agreed to conduct a recall of 300,000 Parents Bee Bop Band drum sets in April 2003.
According to federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are required to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information which reasonably supports the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial risk of injury to the public, presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates a federal safety standard.
In agreeing to settle the matter, Battat Inc. denies that the toy drum sets were defective and that it violated the reporting requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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