Product Liability

IKEA pays large civil penalty to CPSC

IKEA North America Services, LLC of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty for its failure to follow procedures issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The CPSC announced that Swedish retail giant inadvertently sold some potentially dangerous outdoor candles and failed to immediately report incidents connected to use of the defective candles.

The CPSC says that the hazardous candles can flare up unexpectedly when consumers attempt to blow the fames out, potentially causing burn injuries. The candles are also a fire hazard because they are capable of flaring when lit according to the CPSC.

Approximately 133,000 six-pack candle sets were sold in the U.S. from February 2001 to July 2005. An additional 1.3 million sets were sold worldwide in the same time. During that period, IKEA received 32 reports that the candles scorched and started fires. Twelve injuries ranging from mild to serious burns were also reported by consumers who attempted to extinguish the candles by blowing them out.

IKEA and the CPSC began recalling the candles in May 2006.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to immediately report to the CPSC any information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a certain product may pose an unreasonably high risk of injury, death, or other hazard.

IKEA announced on its website its support for www.recalls.gov — the CPSC’s new effort to consolidate all product recalls, whether mandatory or voluntary, across agency lines.

More information about the defective candles can be found on recall.gov or IKEA’s website.