Viking Range - 2011 Product Safety Settlement

2011 Product Safety Settlement

In June 2011, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) accepted a settlement under which Viking agreed to pay a $450,000 in civil penalties to settle charges that it failed to report defects in its refrigerators.

Between 1999 and 2006, Viking manufactured side-by-side and bottom-freezer refrigerators that were alleged to be unsafe by the CPSC. They claimed that the defective refrigerators contained “tower” hinges (which attach the refrigerator door to the cabinet) that can detach, allowing the door to fall on and potentially injure consumers. According to the settlement agreement between the CPSC and Viking, the company received its first complaints involving hinge failure in January 2001, and introduced redesigned hinges by January of the following year. By April 2008, Viking had received eight injury complaints, and developed a field repair fix kit for consumers whose refrigerators “exhibited problems with the hinges.”

The CPSC has stated that, despite being aware problem since 2001, Viking did not report to the Commission until April 2009. By that time, the company was aware of at least ten injury reports involving hinge failures. A recall was finally issued in 2009.

In its settlement with the CPSC, Viking denies the Commission’s allegations that the Refrigerators:

“contain a defect which could create a substantial product hazard or create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, and denies that it violated the reporting requirements of Section 15(b) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. § 2064(b).”

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