The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Philips Lighting North America Corp., of Somerset, N.J., has agreed to pay a $2 million civil penalty to settles charges that the company knowingly failed to report product defect information to CPSC.
Phillips did not report an unreasonable risk of serious injury with Energy Saver Marathon or “Marathon Classic” compact fluorescent lamps.
After numerous complaints about glass separating from the body of the lamps and striking people and objects, and attempting several design changes to fix the problem, Philips failed to report the matter to CPSC. The incidents resulted in 10 reports of lacerations and seven reports of property damage.
In addition to paying the $2 million civil penalty, Philips has agreed to implement and maintain a compliance program to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and a related system of internal controls and procedures.
The compliance program requires written standards and policies and written procedures to ensure that all information regarding the firm’s compliance with the CPSA, including reports and complaints, whether an injury is referenced or not, is conveyed to the firm’s responsible employees. The compliance program also must address.
The lamps were recalled in August 2011, after Philips had manufactured about 1.86 million units. Grocery and home center stores, online retailers, and professional electrical distributors sold the lamps from March 2007 through July 2011 for between $11 and $24 each.
The penalty agreement has been accepted provisionally by the Commission by a 4 to 1 vote.
The penalty continues the recent trend of increased civil penalties imposed by CPSC, along with mandatory compliance programs.