Release date: January 12, 2007
Release number: 07-079

Release Details

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Hoover Company Inc., of North Canton, Ohio, has agreed to pay a $750,000 civil penalty. The penalty, which the Commission has provisionally accepted, settles allegations that the company failed to report to CPSC the sale of vacuum cleaners with defective on-off switches that can overheat and cause the vacuum cleaner to catch fire.

In April 2005, Hoover conducted a recall of 636,000 Hoover Self-Propelled Upright Vacuum Cleaners because of defective on-off switches.

In June 2004, after CPSC received notice of several vacuum cleaner incidents, the Commission staff requested Hoover provide a full report of incident information. In July 2004, when Hoover submitted a full report, it had notice of 260 consumer incidents, of which 141 involved reports of fire. Additionally, there was one report of a minor burn injury.

Hoover first learned of a vacuum cleaner switch on one of these units overheating and melting in April 1999.

Federal law requires firms to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting 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.

These Hoover Self-Propelled Upright Vacuum Cleaners are plastic, upright vacuums with the brand name “Hoover” and words “Self Propelled” printed on the front of the product. Only those Hoover Self-Propelled Upright Vacuum Cleaners manufactured between May 1998 and November 1999 are included in the recall that is the subject of this penalty.

For additional information, contact Hoover toll-free at (800) 250-6075 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.hoover.com

In agreeing to settle the matter, Hoover Company Inc. denies CPSC’s allegations that the company knowingly violated the law.

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