Home electronics superstore Best Buy has agreed to pay a civil penalty of nearly $4 million for violating federal consumer protections laws by distributing and selling previously recalled consumer electronics.
According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the $3.8-million fine resolves charges that the Richfield, Minn.-based retailer knowingly distributed and sold 16 different recalled products during a five-year period from 2010 through 2015.
CPSC regulators found that during that time, Best Buy had failed to take proper procedures to accurately identify, quarantine, and prevent the sale of products under a safety recall to all of its retail outlets. Best Buy also botched its handling of product codes by failing to permanently block them, which signaled the recalled products were not in inventory. Other times, stores reactivated the product codes prematurely or overrode them.
Sales of recalled products continued even after Best Buy assured the CPSC that it had taken the proper measures to mitigate the risk of recalled products being sold.
Poor handling of recalled products prompted the CPSC and Best Buy to jointly re-announce recalls for several products in July 2014, which the retailer continued to sell after manufacturers, distributors, and other retailers had taken the appropriate measures to remove the items from commerce.
Under its agreement with the CPSC, Best Buy is also required to participate in a compliance program to ensure it adheres to the rules of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).
The products under safety recall that Best Buy continued to sell are:
- Toshiba Satellite Notebook Computers, recalled on September 2, 2010;
- iSi North America Twist ‘n Sparkle Beverage Carbonation Systems, recalled on July 5, 2012;
- LG Electronics Gas Dryers, recalled on August 21, 2012;
- GE Dishwashers, recalled on August 9, 2012;
- Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital Cameras, recalled on August 14, 2012;
- GE Profile Front Load Washers, recalled on October 3, 2012;
- Sauder Woodworking Gruga Office Chairs, recalled on November 7, 2012;
- LG Electronics Electric Ranges, recalled on November 8, 2012;
- LG Electronics Top-Loading Washing Machines, recalled on December 18, 2012;
- Samsonite Dual-Wattage Travel Converters, recalled on February 12, 2013;
- Definitive Technology SuperCube 2000 Subwoofers, recalled on March 28, 2013;
- Gree Dehumidifiers, recalled on September 12, 2013;
- Frigidaire Professional Blenders, recalled on September 19, 2013;
- Schneider Electric APC Surge Arrest Surge Protectors, recalled on October 3, 2013;
- Coby 32-inch Flat Screen Televisions, recalled on December 12, 2013; and
- Whirlpool Jenn-Air Wall Ovens, recalled on July 29, 2015.