Graco Children's Products Inc. of Macedonia, Ohio, has been slapped with a $4 million penalty by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for failing to report hundreds of incidents and injuries related to 16 products.
Washington-based CPSC said it is the largest civil penalty levied in the group's history. Simultaneously, the commission and Graco announced the recall of 1.2 million toddler beds blow molded from high density polyethylene. Graco's failure to report injuries connected to the toddler beds was one of the violations leading to the penalty.
The commission said that from 1991 through 2002, Graco and sister firm Century Products Co. failed to report product defects that could create substantial product hazards or unreasonable risks of injury or death to young children. In addition to toddler beds, those products include injection molded infant carriers, highchairs, infant swings and strollers.
Before it's all said and done, Graco will have more products recalled.
``We're working on two more recalls that need to be addressed, and the larger issue of a strong and accurate reporting system,'' CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said March 23 by telephone.
Graco is a unit of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. of Sandy Springs, Ga. Newell acquired Rubbermaid, including Graco, in 1999.
A Graco spokeswoman said the company has implemented ``systems that will ensure that this will not occur moving forward.''
``At Graco, the safety and welfare of our consumers is always our top priority,'' the spokeswoman wrote in a March 22 e-mail. ``As this settlement makes clear, it is our understanding that Graco did not knowingly violate the CPSC's reporting requirements. Graco has worked diligently with the CPSC to resolve any issues with reporting and we are committed to maintaining a cooperative relationship with the CPSC.''