CPSC: Consumers Complained of Coffeemaker Defect for Three Years before Recall

CPSC: Consumers Complained of Coffeemaker Defect for Three Years before Recall
Image: CPSC
July 1, 2015

Two federal agencies are suing the maker of a popular coffee maker after the company failed to notify the public of a safety defect that caused numerous injuries.

The Department of Justice and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) claim that Spectrum Brands subsidiary Applica Consumer Products took three years to notify the CPSC that the handle of Black & Decker brand coffee pots could suddenly detach.

Between 2009 and 2012 consumers submitted 1,600 complaints reporting that the handle of their SpaceMaker coffee pot suddenly detached. Some of the complaints reported burns as a result.

The company finally notified the CPSC about the defect and issued a recall in June 2012. By law, a company has 24 hours to report a defect that can cause harm to an individual. The lawsuit also claims that the Applica Consumer Products continued to sell a small number of recalled coffeemakers, another violation of federal law.

"We believe Spectrum Brands and Applica Consumer Products knew about the hazard with these coffeemakers for years," CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said in a statement. "Despite the fact that these firms were required to report potential hazards and risks to CPSC immediately, it appears they chose to profit from continued sales instead. Their failure to follow the law and report resulted in dozens of injuries to unsuspecting consumers."