The seatbacks of both models failed, resulting in multiple back and other injuries. Federal law requires parties like the company to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) about a consumer product containing a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or presenting a risk of serious injury.
The company received dozens of reports of seatback failures and related injuries involving both the Quantum chairs and the Gibson chairs. The company never reported the Quantum chair hazard to CPSC, and reported the Gibson chair hazard only after receiving a request from staff. By the time the Quantum chair and the Gibson chair were recalled, the company had received 33 and 153 reports, respectively, of seatback detachment from the chairs, and 14 and 25 reports, respectively, of injuries, some requiring medical attention.
The company sold about 150,000 Quantum chairs nationwide between May 2006 and August 2009, for about $350 each, and about 1.4 million Gibson chairs nationwide between 2003 and 2012, for about $40 each.
In addition to paying the $3.4 million civil penalty, the company has agreed that the company has, and shall maintain, a compliance program designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act and a related system of internal controls and procedures. The compliance program must include written standards and policies designed to convey information obtained from sources such as complaints, parts requests, and incident reports to personnel responsible for CPSC compliance. The compliance program also must address:
Confidential employee reporting of compliance concerns to a senior manager;
Effective communication of compliance policies and procedures, including training;
Senior management responsibility for, and general board oversight of, compliance; and
requirements for record retention.
The company neither admits nor denies CPSC staff’s charges.
To read the entire CPSC Press Release please follow this link: $3.4M Civil Penalty