AUSTIN, Texas — A Keurig mini coffee machine spewed scalding hot water on a three-year-old child from Round Rock, Texas. The little girl was covered in hot water and hot coffee as well, causing first- and second-degree burns over her neck and face according to KVUE. The girl’s parents began to investigate the problem as their daughter worked on healing from her injuries. The girl’s parents found out that their baby was not the only person who suffered injuries from defective Keurig coffee makers. Little did they know, the Keurig mini they owned was recalled in 2014. The Keurig mini recall initiative came only after the company learned about 200 complaints from customers, and about 100 people suffered burns from exploding coffee makers.
The owners of the Keurig mini that exploded had no idea that these coffee makers had a history of blowing up while in use. Although they used the Keurig mini for about five years before it failed, they had no clue that it was recalled in 2014. The lack of information available about recalls highlights the failure of the current warning system used in the U.S.
The CPSC asked Keurig to perform a safety check of its products and did so, but delayed reporting adverse events to the agency. The CPSC levied a $5.8 million fine against the company for its egregious safety violations.
The federal agency known as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, oversees the safety of all consumer goods, is prohibited at times from disclosing information about dangerous products and the companies that make them. Every recall campaign begins with a negotiation between the CPSC and the companies that produce defective products. As a result, not all relevant information will be disclosed to the public if the company wants to prevent bad publicity about their product or company.
There are serious questions as to why the CPSC has to engage in this negotiation process. Strangely, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can recall food and automobiles, respectively, without having to negotiate with offending companies.
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