Viking Range has agreed to pay $4.65 million in government fines to resolve allegations that it failed to properly report the issue to federal regulators in a timely manner. According to a report on Consumerist.com, Viking recalled 52,000 oven ranges because they were somehow able to turn themselves on. Under federal law, manufacturers, distributors and retailers are required to report information regarding possible safety defects right away to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
They are required to do so within 24 hours of getting reasonable supporting evidence of a defective or dangerous product. The CPSC voted 4-1 to approve a proposed settlement fining Viking Ranges and Middleby Corporation $4.65 million for failing to immediately notify regulators of a potential defect in tens of thousands of oven ranges. The original recall notice stated that the ranges were sold between July 2007 and June 2014 and that they contained a defect that could create substantial product hazards and an unreasonable risk of serious injury.
Several Reports from Consumers
Viking Ranges apparently knew that the appliances could turn on by themselves and could not be turned off using control knobs. This, of course, could result in extremely hot surface temperatures posing a serious burn hazard to consumers. At the time of the recall, the company said it had received 75 reports of the gas ranges spontaneously turning on including three reports of burn injuries and four property damage claims. One claim resulted in a payment of $850.
The CPSC contends in the proposed settlement that prior to reporting the issue to the agency, Viking had collected over 170 incident reports from June 2008 to July 2014. Of these reports, the settlement claims that five incidents involved property damage. A number of the reports were from consumers who said they had to call 911 for help because they were unable to disconnect or turn off the appliances.
After getting a number of these reports, Viking developed the repair and issued a recall for the defective ranges. The company also reportedly issued a number of engineering change orders and technical bulletins identifying the defect and giving instructions on how to make the repairs. But, Viking waited until July 2014 to submit notice to the regulator. In December, Keurig agreed to pay $5.8 million to resolve allegations that it didn’t follow federal rules with regard to its MINI Plus Brewing Systems where water could overheat, spray and burn consumers.
If You Have Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, please remember that you have legal rights. Anyone who has been injured by defective product can seek compensation by filing a product liability claim. Such claims seek damages including medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitative treatment, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims also need an experienced Sacramento product defect lawyer on their side who will fight for their rights and help them secure maximum compensation for their losses. If a dangerous or defective product has injured you, call the Demas Law Group P.C., at (916) 444-0100 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.