The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Peg Perego USA Inc., of Fort Wayne, Ind., has agreed to pay a $150,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that the company failed to report serious defects with its battery operated ride- on toys. Under the Consumer Product Safety Act, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must immediately report product defects to the Commission. CPSC alleged that Peg Perego failed to report in a timely manner that certain models of ride-on toys presented a fire hazard and failed to stop, which posed serious risks of injury to children.
Peg Perego received reports of 197 incidents of the vehicles' electrical components overheating, causing smoking, melting or fire between April 1994 and March 1997. These incidents resulted in two burn injuries and approximately $55,000 in property damage to three houses and garages. Additionally, Peg Perego was aware of about 20 incidents involving the products' failure to stop, resulting in seven injuries, including one concussion and six reports of scratches, bumps and bruises when the products hit a tree, car, truck, pole or other stationary object.
In March 1999, Peg Perego recalled over 270,000 of the battery-powered riding vehicles, which were manufactured between 1990 and 1998. The recalled ride-on toys sold for between $100 and $500 and had the following model names: Corral 270, Diablo, Dragon, Gaucho, Gaucho Grande, Gaucho High Torque, Gaucho Sport, Magica, Magnum, Ranger GT, Thunderbolt, Thundercat, and Tornado.
Consumers who have not participated in this recall should contact Peg Perego at (800) 728-2108 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday for additional information or to order a free repair kit, which can be installed by the consumer or by an authorized Peg Perego service center.
In agreeing to settle this matter, Peg Perego denies that the products were defective and that they knowingly violated the reporting requirements of the CPSA.