Pennsylvania firm to pay for faulty fans

PENNSYLVANIA - A company will pay a $500,000 fine for not quickly reporting that its portable fans were overheating and causing fires, federal safety officials announced.

Lasko Products received 42 related complaints involving nine injuries and property damage from 2002 through 2005. The company did not fully report the problems until September 2005, the U.S.

Consumer Product Safety Commission said in announcing the civil penalty.

Federal law requires reports of potential hazards within 24 hours.

Lasko sold the box and floor fans from 2000 to 2004 under the brand names Lasko, General Electric, Galaxy and Air King. They were sold for about $10 to $25 at discount stores.

In 2006, 5.6 million of the fans were recalled because an electrical failure in the motor could cause them to ignite.

Brad Brush, general counsel of the West Chester-based company, declined further comment Friday on the settlement. Lasko denies that it knowingly violated the law, the consumer safety agency said.

At the time of the recall, the agency said the injuries included burns and smoke inhalation and that at least eight of the reported fires caused extensive property damage.

Consumers can contact the company for a free cord adaptor, designed to shut off the fan motor if it overheats. The phone number is 800-984-3311.

The recall included:

• Lasko box fan models 3700, 3723, 3733 and 3750; cyclone fan models 3510, 3550, 3800 and 35105; Wind Machine models 3300 and 3521; Air Companion model 3515; Air Director model 2135; and Wind Tunnel models 3400 and 3410.

• General Electric box fan model 106620 and cyclone fan models 106600 and 106630.

• Galaxy box fan model 3733.

• Air King cyclone fan model 9500 (20-inch deluxe pivot fan) and Air Companion model 9515 (15-inch deluxe pivot fan).


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