December 10, 1991


Release # 92-030


WASHINGTON, DC -- Yazoo Manufacturing Company, Jackson, MS, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), announced today that it is implementing its safety modification program for certain models of its commercial "high wheel" gasoline powered walk-behind lawn mowers purchased by consumers since June 1982, as previously announced in a September Press Release. 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 mowers are labeled 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 to commercial operators, Yazoo and the CPSC are concerned that a number of mowers 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 high wheel lawn mowers without a three-second blade stopping mechanism. The company will voluntarily modify those lawn mowers which were purchased by consumers since June 1982, the effective date of the lawn mower standard. This modification program covers only those lawn mowers purchased by consumers for their personal use and does not include lawn mowers purchased for industrial/commercial or professional uses. The company has developed a kit consisting of a blade brake and engine-stopping device which will be installed on the lawn mowers to make the blade stop within the required three seconds after release of the controls.

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 remaining mowers in inventory are sold only to commercial customers.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is announcing this safety modification program 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 reduce the estimated 28.5 million injuries and 21,600 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.