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Feds Fine Best Buy For Selling Recalled Products

Best Buy has agreed to pay a $3.8 million civil penalty for distributing and selling 16 CE and appliance models that it allegedly knew had been recalled.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Best Buy sold about 600 potentially hazardous items between 2010 and 2015, including over 400 Canon cameras.

The products were sold through Best Buy and; its former freestanding Magnolia A/V stores; its CowBoom online outlet store; and were liquidated through Best Buy Private Auction and TechLiquidators.

The products included Canon’s EOS Rebel T4i digital camera, Coby TVs, GE dishwashers, Jenn-Air wall ovens, and LG ranges and laundry products, and were variously recalled for possible fire, burn, shock and other potential hazards.

The agency charged the No. 1 CE chain with “failing to implement adequate procedures to accurately identify, quarantine, and prevent the sales of the recalled products across all of its supply channels.”

In some cases the retailer failed to permanently block product codes due to inaccurate information that signaled that the recalled product was not in inventory, the CPSC said.

At other times the blocked codes were reactivated prematurely and, in a few cases, overridden.

Sales of the recalled products continued even after Best Buy assured the agency that corrective measures had been put in place.

The issue came to light in 2014 when Best Buy and the CPSC warned consumers that recalled items were still being sold or resold through the retailer’s pipelines.

In addition to the fine, Best Buy has agreed to maintain a system of internal controls and procedures and a compliance program in accord with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) that includes the appropriate disposal of recalled products.

The settlement does not amount to an admission of the charges, the agency said.

The recalled products included:
• Toshiba Satellite notebook computers, recalled on Sept. 2, 2010;
• iSi North America Twist ‘n Sparkle beverage carbonation systems, recalled on July 5, 2012;
• LG gas dryers, recalled on Aug. 21, 2012;
• GE dishwashers, recalled on August 9, 2012;
• Canon EOS Rebel T4i digital cameras, recalled on Aug. 14, 2012;
• GE Profile front-load washers, recalled on Oct. 3, 2012;
• Sauder Woodworking Gruga office chairs, recalled on Nov. 7, 2012;
• LG electric ranges, recalled on Nov. 8, 2012;
• LG top-loading washers, recalled on Dec. 18, 2012;
• Samsonite dual-wattage travel converters, recalled on Feb. 12, 2013;
• Definitive Technology SuperCube 2000 subwoofers, recalled on March 28, 2013;
• Gree dehumidifiers, recalled on Sept. 12, 2013;
• Frigidaire Professional blenders, recalled on Sept. 19, 2013;
• Schneider Electric APC Surge Arrest surge protectors, recalled on Oct. 3, 2013;
• Coby 32-inch flat-screen TVs, recalled on Dec. 12, 2013; and
• Jenn-Air (Whirlpool) wall ovens, recalled on July 29, 2015.