The Consumer Product Safety Commission reached an agreement with shop-at-home network HSN for $16 million after officials claimed the network failed to immediately report burn hazards posed by clothing steamers.
The CPSC said that the Joy Mangano-brand My Little Steamer and My Little Steamer Go Mini had a defect that "created an unreasonable risk of serious injury to consumers."
According to the CPSC, HSN received numerous reports from 2012 through 2019 that the steamers would spray, expel and/or leak hot water while in use, resulting in serious and permanent injuries. The CPSC said a small number of these incidents caused "grievous bodily injury."
By the time HSN reported the defects, the network had received 400 complaints of the steamers spraying or expelling hot water and approximately 700 additional reports of leaks.
The CPSC said that 91 of these incidents resulted in injuries.
The CPSC later learned of 500 complaints of the steamers spraying or expelling hot water and approximately 150 complaints of leaks, including 87 reports of injury, the organization said.
It was not until March 2021 that HSN and the CPSC issued a recall. Nearly 5.4 million units of the steamers were produced. Those who purchased a steamer from 2002 through 2020 were either eligible for a cash payment or an HSN credit.
"CPSC is aware of at least 178 injuries related to the steamers, including serious burns but no fatalities. Rather than reporting immediately, as is required under the Consumer Product Safety Act, HSN took more than six years to report the defect information, despite knowledge of the defect," said CPSC Commissioner Peter A. Feldman. I voted to approve this settlement agreement, which fines HSN $16 million, near but below the maximum penalty allowed under the law. This penalty is appropriate given the facts of the case."
HSN released the following response:
"The health and safety of our customers remains a top priority. HSN voluntarily recalled the garment steamers in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and has worked cooperatively with the agency throughout this matter," HSN said.
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