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Exercise Equipment Manufacturer Agrees to Pay $425,000 In Failure to Report Hazard Claim

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Exercise equipment manufacturer, Perfect Fitness, agreed to pay a $425,000 penalty to settle claims brought by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The penalty agreement stems from allegations that Perfect Fitness knowingly failed to report to CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, a defect with its Perfect Pullup exercise equipment. The CPSC determined the defect causes the handles of the product to break during use, resulting in a fall hazard to consumers.

CPSC staff claimed Perfect Fitness concluded in June 2008 that its exercise equipment was defective following re-testing of the handle design. The testing was done after the firm received a complaint and, according to the firm’s internal review, an unusual number of product returns. Perfect Fitness redesigned the product to correct the defect in July 2008.

According to the CPSC, Perfect Fitness was aware of at least 23 injuries associated with its product in March 2010, and posted a notice on its website to let consumers know they could get free replacement handles. Consumers were told the original handles were "inferior" and could result in an "accident."

Perfect Fitness did not report the defect to the CPSC until December 2010. By that time, the CPSC says the firm was aware of at least 45 complaints of injury associated with the handles breaking and had received more than 2,000 requests for replacements.

In February 2011, Perfect Fitness and the CPSC announced a recall of about 7,000 Perfect Pullups. The exercise equipment sold for between $80 and $100 at sporting goods stores nationwide; on the firm’s website; on Amazon.com; and through direct television marketing from January 2008 through February 2011.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.

In agreeing to the fine, Perfect Fitness denied that it knowingly violated the law.

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    I am a gym rat and appreciate insights like this one. I put it up on my Facebook page so others can be a aware. Thanks for supporting consumer safety.