Keurig Coffee Machine Under Recall Severely Burned a Toddler
ROUND ROCK, Tx. — A toddler from Round Rock, Texas, sustained first- and second-degree burns to her face, neck, and chest after a Keurig MINI coffeemaker started spewing hot water and coffee without warning. Only after the incident did the mother of the young child learn that Keurig had recalled its MINI line of coffeemakers. Keurig recalled its MINI coffeemakers after approximately 100 people were burned when the coffeemakers exploded or spewed scalding hot water. According to a report published by KVUE.com, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) fined Keurig $5.8 million, which is the second-largest fine the agency assessed against a company for a violation of consumer safety standards in the U.S.
Consumer product advocates argue that a giant loophole in the law allows companies to conceal their recalls from public scrutiny. Known as Section 6b of the U.S. Consumer Protection regulations, the CPSC and manufacturers of consumer goods negotiate over recalls, unlike the food, drug, and automotive industry. Section 6b does not authorize the CPSC in every instance to release information about defective and dangerous consumer products even though the faulty item injured or killed someone.
Critics of the law call the provision toothless. Because of the toothless regulations which bind the CPSC to remain silent, a child was severely burned from hot water and coffee from her mother’s Keurig that would have been returned to the company if her mother knew about the recall.
Keurig’s behavior in this instance was egregious, which led to the massive fine levied by the CPSC on the company. The CPSC found that Keurig failed to report injuries caused by malfunctioning coffeemakers to the CPSC promptly. Keurig waited four years to report the defect to the CPSC, even after at least 100 people were burned.
The CPSC vehemently condemned Keurig’s inaction and claimed Keurig’s delayed response shows that the company was highly motivated to make a profit rather than protect its consumers.
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