The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced last month that Best Buy Co., Inc., of Richfield, Minn., has agreed to pay a $3.8 million civil penalty for distributing and selling previously recalled consumer products. Federal law prohibits the sale, offer for sale, or distribution in commerce of a consumer product that is subject to voluntary corrective action, such as a recall, that has been publicly announced and taken in consultation with CPSC. The settlement agreement resolves charges that the company knowingly sold and distributed 16 different recalled products during a five-year period from 2010 through 2015.
CPSC staff charged that Best Buy failed to implement adequate procedures to accurately identify, quarantine, and prevent the sales of the recalled products across all of its supply channels. Staff also charged that Best Buy, in some cases, failed to permanently block product codes due to inaccurate information that signaled that the recalled product was not in inventory. At other times, the blocked codes were reactivated prematurely, and in a few cases, overridden.
Sales of recalled products continued even after Best Buy told CPSC that the company had put measures into place to reduce the risk of sales of recalled products. Between September 2010 and October 2015, Best Buy sold about 600 recalled items, including more than 400 Canon cameras, to consumers. If you need a list of all of the recalled products included in this matter, contact Shanna Malone, Editor of the Jere Beasley Report, at Shanna.Malone@beasleyallen.com.
On July 24, 2014, CPSC and Best Buy jointly re-announced the recalls of 10 products that Best Buy had been selling after the original recalls had been announced. In addition to paying a $3.8 million civil penalty, Best Buy has agreed to maintain a compliance program that is designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act, including a program for the appropriate disposal of recalled products. The company has also agreed to maintain a system of internal controls and procedures. The penalty agreement has been accepted provisionally by the Commission in a 4 to 1 vote.
Sources: CPSC.com and PRNewswire.com
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