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Major Retailer Agrees to Pay $500,000 Civil Penalty for Failure to Report Hazardous Outdoor Candles

Release Date: November 23, 2008

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that IKEA North America Services LLC, of Conshohocken, Pa., has agreed to pay the government a $500,000 civil penalty. The penalty, which has been provisionally accepted by the Commission, settles allegations that the company failed to immediately report incidents about defective outdoor candles.

CPSC alleged that IKEA failed to report to the government in a timely manner that outdoor candles sold by the firm could unexpectedly flare up and pose fire and burn injury hazards to consumers, when they attempted to extinguish the candles by blowing them out.

IKEA sold about 133,000 six-pack sets of the outdoor candles in the United States between February 2001 and July 2005. The firm also sold an additional 1.3 million candle sets internationally. During that time, the firm received at least 32 reports worldwide of unexpected flare-ups, including fire, scorching and twelve reported injuries, including minor to serious burns. In May 2006, CPSC and IKEA announced the recall of the candles.

Federal Law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report to CPSC immediately after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect, which could create a substantial product hazard or create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.

In agreeing to settle the allegations, IKEA North America Services denies that it knowingly violated federal law.

Major Retailer Agrees to Pay $500,000 Civil Penalty for Failure to Report Hazardous Outdoor Candles

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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