According to a statement by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Black & Decker will have to pay $960,000 in a settlement on allegations it did not alert U.S. regulators about a defective weed trimmer. In the statement, the CPSC says that Black & Decker "knowingly failed to report several safety defects and hazards" related to the Grasshog XP model. The agency also says that it withheld information as the agency tried to investigate reports of injury. About 158 people were injured between 2005 and 2009 from the trimmer.
The company knew that the high-powered, electric trimmer was defective by May 2006. After the CPSC closed the inital investigation based on incomplete information, Black & Decker did not provide complete information regarding the numerous incidents and injuries until late October of 2006.
By July 2007 the trimmers had been recalled and there were more than 700 reported incident cases, according to the CPSC. The device's spool, spool cap and pieces of the trimmer string could come loose and become projectiles. The Grasshog could also overheat and burn consumers.
Following reports of an additional 100 injuries, the recall was re-issued in August 2009. A repair kit is available for free in order to correct the issues.
Black & Decker does deny the CPSC's allegations that it knowingly violated the law.
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