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HP must pay $425,000 penalty for failure to report defect

HP has agreed to pay a $425,000 civil penalty to resolve allegations that it failed to report a product defect to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  The agency charged that, through October 2008, HP continued to sell laptops it knew contained defective lithium-ion battery packs. The packs overheated and, in some cases, caught fire.  At least one consumer was hospitalized with injuries.

Federal law requires that manufacturers immediately report known product defects to CPSC.  The agency alleged that, by September 2007, HP knew of 22 incidents with the battery pack, as well as the injuries to the hospitalized consumer.  Despite this knowledge, CPSC said, HP failed to report the defect.  The company continued to sell laptops containing the battery packs and also sold the packs individually.  According to CPSC, by the time HP reported the issue in July 2008,  the company was aware of at least 31 incidents involving the battery packs.  Finally, in October 2008, HP and CPSC announced a joint recall of 32,000 packs.

Although it has agreed to pay the penalty, HP denies that the packs pose an unreasonable risk of death or injury.  The company also denies violating the law.  For more on this case, visit the CPSC website.


Entry Filed under: Products Liability

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