FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

September 6, 1991

 

Release # 91-118

 

NOTICE: Yazoo is no longer in the mower business. Repairs are no longer available. Consumers should not use the product 5/3/2000.

WASHINGTON, DC -- Yazoo Manufacturing Company, Jackson, MS, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is issuing a warning to consumers concerning its commercial "high wheel" gasoline powered walk-behind lawn mowers in advance of a retrofit program under development. These lawn mowers are not equipped with a blade control device that stops the blade within three seconds after release of the controls as required for consumer mowers by the CPSC Safety Standard for Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers. As a result, consumers may be injured from contact with the rotating mower blade.

The lawn mowers were manufactured beginning in 1982 and involve the following push and self-propelled big wheel models: S22B, P22B, P22W, S22W, S24B, P24B, P24W, S24W, S26B and S26W. The mower is labelled with a bright yellow decal which states: "NOTICE. THIS MOWER DOES NOT MEET CPSC SAFETY REQUIREMENTS. COMMERCIAL USE ONLY." These mowers have a suggested retail price of between $750.00 and $900.00 and were sold to retailers in southern, southeastern and northeastern United States.

Although the lawn mowers were intended for sale primarily to commercial operators, Yazoo and the CPSC are concerned that a number of mowers may have been purchased by consumers. Neither CPSC nor the company is aware of any consumer injuries resulting from the lack of a blade control device on these mowers.

Yazoo is no longer manufacturing any big wheel lawn mowers without a three-second blade stopping mechanism. The company will voluntarily retrofit those lawn mowers which were purchased by consumers. This retrofit will cover only those lawn mowers which were purchased by consumers for their personal use and does not include lawn mowers which are intended for industrial/commercial or professional uses. The company is developing a retrofit kit which consists of a blade brake and engine-stopping device installed on the lawn mower to make the blade stop within the required three seconds after release of the controls. The company will publish a supplemental notice after the retrofit is developed.

Because the unit does not have a three-second blade stopping device, consumers who purchased one of these lawn mowers should use the lawn mower only with extreme caution.

Yazoo has previously informed its dealers that these mowers are only to be sold to commercial users. Yazoo also has initiated a certification program to ensure that the mowers in question are sold only to commercial customers in the future.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is issuing this notice as part of its mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. The Commission's objective is to help reduce the estimated 28.5 million injuries and 21,600 deaths that are associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.