Hoover Company Inc. has agreed to pay a $750,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that it failed in reporting to the U.S. consumer Product Safety Commission, the sale of vacuums with defective on/off switches that can overheat, causing the cleaner to catch on fire.
In April 2005, Hoover recalled 636,000 Hoover Self-Propelled upright vacuums because of the defective on/off switches.
In June 2004, after the CPSC received notice of several incidents, the Commission staff requested Hoover supply a full report of incident information. In July 2004, Hoover submitted a full report that included notice of 260 consumer incidents, of which 141 reports involved fire. There was also a report of a minor burn injury.
Hoover first became aware of the faulty switches in April 1999.
Federal law requires firms to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial risk of injury to the public, presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates a federal safety standard.
Only those Hoover Self-Propelled Upright Vacuum Cleaners manufactured between May 1998 and November 1999 are included in the recall that is the subject of this penalty.