November 30, 2001
Icon Agrees to Pay $500,000 Civil
Penalty for Delay in Reporting Exercise Equipment Hazard
- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that
Icon Health & Fitness Inc., of Logan, Utah, has agreed to pay a civil
penalty of $500,000. The penalty resolves a lawsuit filed against Icon in
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland last May. The government
charged Icon with failing to report serious safety hazards associated with
home exercise equipment. The settlement also requires Icon to establish
internal recordkeeping and monitoring systems to keep track of information
about product safety hazards.
Under the law, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must immediately
report product defects to CPSC. CPSC and the Department of Justice charged
that Icon failed to report dozens of injuries caused by a defect in its
Weider and Weslo exercise gliders, including fractured vertebrae and
herniated discs. Some injuries resulted in partial disability, including a
compression injury to a woman's spine that left her 50 percent permanently
disabled. By the time the company responded to an inquiry from the CPSC, it
knew of at least 86 incidents and 68 injuries to consumers from the gliders
which had taken place over an 18- month period. Icon recalled the gliders in
April 1999 in cooperation with CPSC.
The Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation, on behalf of CPSC,
sued Wal-Mart in the same lawsuit. The case against Wal-Mart is proceeding.
Wal-Mart is charged with selling many of the gliders and failing to report
the defect, despite knowing of many incidents and injuries to consumers. At
least twenty-nine of the incidents occurred in Wal-Mart stores while
consumers were trying out the gliders.
"Only if firms who sell unsafe consumer products report quickly to CPSC can
we quickly recall them and prevent injuries to consumers," said Acting
Chairman Thomas Moore.
"This penalty should send a strong message to firms to comply with our
Consumers should stop using the Weider Shape Glider (Model WECR 4306), the
Weider Power Glide (Model WECR 4406), and the Weslo Shape Trainer (Model
WLCR 4356) immediately and call or write Icon Health & Fitness for a free
repair kit. Consumers can call Icon at (800) 999- 3756 between 6 a.m. and 6
p.m. MT Monday through Friday, or write to Icon Health & Fitness Inc., Attn:
Customer Service Department, 1550 South 1000 West, Logan, Utah 84321-8206.
Consumers also can go to the customer service page of their web site at
www.weiderfitness.com or www.weslo.com.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from
unreasonable risks of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products
under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a
product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's
teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at http://www.cpsc.gov/talk.html.
For information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call the above numbers or
visit the web site at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/103.html. To order a
press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of
your fax machine and enter the release number. Consumers can obtain this
release and recall information at CPSC's web site at http://www.cpsc.gov.