WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Best Buy Co., Inc., of Richfield, Minnesota has agreed to pay a $3.8 million civil penalty for distributing and selling previously recalled consumer products. Federal law prohibits the sale, offer for sale, or distribution in commerce of a consumer product that is subject to voluntary corrective action, such as a recall, that has been publicly announced and taken in consultation with CPSC.
The agreement settles charges that the firm knowingly sold and distributed 16 different recalled products during a five year period from 2010 through 2015. CPSC staff charged that Best Buy failed to implement adequate procedures to accurately identify, quarantine, and prevent the sales of the recalled products across all of its supply channels. Staff also charged that Best Buy, in some cases, failed to permanently block product codes due to inaccurate information that signaled that the recalled product was not in inventory. At other times, the blocked codes were reactivated prematurely, and in a few cases, overridden.
Sales of recalled products continued even after Best Buy told CPSC that the firm had put measures into place to reduce the risk of sales of recalled products.
Between September 2010 and October 2015, Best Buy sold about 600 recalled items, including more than 400 Canon cameras, to consumers.
The recalled products included:
- Toshiba Satellite Notebook Computers, recalled on September 2, 2010;
- iSi North America Twist ‘n Sparkle Beverage Carbonation Systems, recalled on July 5, 2012;
- LG Electronics Gas Dryers, recalled on August 21, 2012;
- GE Dishwashers, recalled on August 9, 2012;
- Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital Cameras, recalled on August 14, 2012;
- GE Profile Front Load Washers, recalled on October 3, 2012;
- Sauder Woodworking Gruga Office Chairs, recalled on November 7, 2012;
- LG Electronics Electric Ranges, recalled on November 8, 2012;
- LG Electronics Top-Loading Washing Machines, recalled on December 18, 2012;
- Samsonite Dual-Wattage Travel Converters, recalled on February 12, 2013;
- Definitive Technology SuperCube 2000 Subwoofers, recalled on March 28, 2013;
- Gree Dehumidifiers, recalled on September 12, 2013;
- Frigidaire Professional Blenders, recalled on September 19, 2013;
- Schneider Electric APC Surge Arrest Surge Protectors, recalled on October 3, 2013;
- Coby 32-inch Flat Screen Televisions, recalled on December 12, 2013; and
- Whirlpool Jenn-Air Wall Ovens, recalled on July 29, 2015.
On July 24, 2014, CPSC and Best Buy jointly re-announced the recalls of 10 products that Best Buy had been selling after the original recalls had been announced. In addition to paying a $3.8 million civil penalty, Best Buy has agreed to maintain a compliance program that is designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), including a program for the appropriate disposal of recalled products. The firm has also agreed to maintain a system of internal controls and procedures.
Best Buy’s settlement of this matter does not constitute an admission of CPSC staff’s charges.
The penalty agreement has been accepted provisionally by the Commission in a 4 to 1 vote.