The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced that the Hoover Company has agreed to pay a $750,000 civil penalty. The penalty, which the Commission has provisionally accepted, settles allegations that the company failed to report to CPSC the sale of vacuum cleaners with defective on-off switches that can overheat and cause the vacuum cleaner to catch fire.
In April 2005, Hoover conducted a recall of 636,000 Hoover Self-Propelled Upright Vacuum Cleaners because of defective on-off switches. In June 2004, after CPSC received notice of several vacuum cleaner incidents, the Commission staff requested Hoover provide a full report of incident information. In July 2004, when Hoover submitted a full report, it had notice of 260 consumer incidents, of which 141 involved reports of fire. Additionally, there was one report of a minor burn injury. Hoover first learned of a vacuum cleaner switch when one of these units overheated and melted in April 1999.
For more information concerning this topic, please review the Commission’s announcement.