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"Recall Alerts"

08-07-2009

Published by:
Peter A. Lynch, Esq.
of Cozen O'Connor
palynch@cozen.com
http://www.cozen.com

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:      This weekly newsletter covers:

  1. Blitz USA Recalls Enviro-Flo™ Plus Fuel Containers Due to Fire Hazard
  2. Wagner Spray Tech and Techtronic Industries Agree To Pay $800,000 Civil Penalty for Delay in Reporting Overheating Battery Chargers


(1) BLITZ USA RECALLS ENVIRO-FLO™ PLUS FUEL CONTAINERS DUE TO FIRE HAZARD

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Enviro-Flo Plus Fuel Containers (1 and 2 gallon container sizes)

Units: About 4,000

Manufacturer: Blitz USA Inc., of Miami, Okla.

Hazard: The spout’s plunger cap can dislodge which can open the seal of the fuel container and allow gasoline vapors to escape. This could cause liquid gasoline to spill from the top of the container during use and result in a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Description: The recall involves green Enviro-Flo Plus spouts used with 1 and 2 gallon fuel containers. Only spouts with manufacture date codes listed from 04/17/2009 through 04/19/2009 are included in the recall. The manufacture date code is etched into the side of the spout. The spouts were used on fuel containers with item numbers 81005 (1 gallon) and 81010 (2 gallon) printed on the labels. Date codes affected include:

041709xx1(April 17, 2009, Automated Assembly)
041809xx1(April 18, 2009, Automated Assembly)
041909xx1(April 19, 2009, Automated Assembly)

All spout delivery systems manufactured outside these dates or with number sequence ending in a zero (0) are not included in this recall.

Sold at: Home improvement, mass merchandisers, automotive and various retailers nationwide from June 2009 through July 2009 for between $6 and $10.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately empty their gasoline container and contact Blitz for a free replacement spout delivery system. The gasoline container should not be used until a replacement spout delivery system is installed on the container.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Blitz Inc. at (888) 540-5177 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.blitzusa.com



(2) WAGNER SPRAY TECH AND TECHTRONIC INDUSTRIES AGREE TO PAY $800,000 CIVIL PENALTY FOR DELAY IN REPORTING OVERHEATING BATTERY CHARGERS

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Wagner Spray Tech Corp., of Plymouth, Minn. and Techtronic Industries Co. LTD, of Hong Kong, including its wholly-owned subsidiary Techtronic Industries North America Inc., of Anderson, S.C., have agreed to pay an $800,000 civil penalty. The penalty settles a federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota alleging that Wagner and Techtronic failed to timely report to CPSC as required by federal law the overheating of certain defective cordless power drill battery chargers. These chargers were distributed under the Wagner brand name and manufactured by Techtronic. The products were reportedly involved in several incidents that resulted in property damage.

The lawsuit alleged that Wagner and Techtronic learned about charger overheating incidents starting in 1999 and 2000, respectively, but failed to immediately report this information to CPSC, as required by law. In March 2004, 180,000 of these battery chargers were voluntarily recalled by Wagner.

“The law is clear, companies have a responsibility to immediately inform us about products that could pose a fire safety hazard to families, and we will hold them accountable,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

The civil penalty action demonstrates that the government may seek civil penalties against all responsible parties, including foreign entities, as well as U.S. firms, where appropriate. Under the Consumer Product Safety Act, manufacturers, distributors and retailers are required 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, presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation or standard, or ban enforced by CPSC.

In resolving the lawsuit, Wagner and Techtronic denied the allegations that they violated federal law or failed to immediately report to the government. The Office of Consumer Litigation of the U.S. Department of Justice brought this case before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf of CPSC.

DISCLAIMER: This column is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information contained in this update is general in nature. Individual situations of readers may not fit the general educational information described in the column. Readers are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney to evaluate individual situations and provide legal advice. Any reliance on the information contained herein is taken at the reader's own risk and should not be considered legal advice.

Mr. Lynch can be reached at Cozen and O'Connor, 501 West Broadway, Suite 1610, San Diego, California 92101, 800-782-3366 (voice), 619-234-7831 (fax), palynch@cozen.com (e-mail), http://www.cozen.com. Follow us on Twitter at @firesandrain.

Please direct comments, suggestions, stories, and other items to the author by e-mail at palynch@cozen.com

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