Ensuring the safety and well-being of our loved ones is paramount, especially when it comes to the products we bring into our homes. Unfortunately, we're not always aware of the risks certain products may pose, as is the case with the recent developments surrounding Generac Power Systems, Inc.
Generac Power Systems Civil Penalty: A Brief Overview
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced that Generac Power Systems, a company based in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has agreed to pay a $15,800,000 civil penalty. The penalty resolves CPSC's charges against Generac for their failure to immediately report known safety issues with certain models of their portable generators, as required by law.
What Were the Issues?
The issue centered around 32 models of Generac® and DR® 6500 Watt and 8000 Watt portable generators. These models contained a defect that could pose a significant product hazard and an unreasonable risk of serious injury to users.
From October 2018 into 2020, Generac received reports of consumers suffering from partial finger amputations or crush injuries due to the unlocked handle of the portable generator. Despite this knowledge, Generac did not immediately report these incidents to the Commission. By the time Generac filed a report with the Commission, there were five reports of consumers suffering finger amputations while attempting to transport the portable generators, which required hospitalization, surgery, and/or sutures and resulted in permanent disfigurement.
The models recalled were:
- XT8000E - model numbers G0064330, G0064331, G0064340, G0064340 and G00664342
- XT8000EFI - model numbers G0071620, G0071621 and G0071621R.
- GP6500 - model numbers G0076720, G0076800, G0076800R, G0076812, G0076830, G0076830R, G0076902, G0076902R and G0076903.
- GP6500E - model numbers G0076820, G0076820R and G0076822.
- GP8000E - model numbers G0076731, G0076751, G0076751R, G0076761, G0076761R and G0076861.
- PRO 6500M - model numbers GP16505DMN and GP16505DMNR.
- PRO 6500E - model number GP16505DEN
- HomeLink 6500E - model numbers G0068650, G0068651 and G0079960.
The Recall and Beyond
Generac and the Commission jointly announced a recall of the portable generators on July 29, 2021. However, the settlement agreement goes beyond just the recall. Generac is required to implement and maintain a compliance program and system of internal controls and procedures designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).
For the next three years, Generac will also file annual reports regarding its compliance program, system of internal controls, and internal audits of the effectiveness of the new compliance program and internal controls.
What Does This Mean for You?
While the hefty civil penalty is a significant setback for Generac, it serves as a reminder for us to stay vigilant about the products we use. It's essential to stay informed about product recalls and safety concerns, especially those that could pose a threat to the safety of our loved ones.
Remember, the products we bring into our homes should serve us, not harm us. It's up to us to ensure our homes remain a safe sanctuary. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and always prioritize safety.