Costco Settles Failure-to-Report CPSC Case

Costco received 92 complaints about the EKO Trash Cans, including 60 complaints from consumers who received injuries, some serious, but did not notify the CPSC immediately of the defect or risk, according to the commission.

Costco Wholesale Corp. of Issaquah, Wash., has agreed to pay a $3.85 million civil penalty to settle the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff charges that it knowingly failed to report to CPSC, as required by law, that the EKO Sensible Eco Living Trash Cans contained a defect or created an unreasonable risk of serious injury, the commission reported Oct. 5. The settlement resolves the staff charges.

CPSC staff charged that the black plastic protective collar in the opening on the back of the EKO Trash Can receptacle can become dislodged and expose a sharp edge, posing a laceration hazard to consumers. Costco received 92 complaints about the EKO Trash Cans, including 60 complaints from consumers who received injuries, some serious, but did not notify the CPSC immediately of the defect or risk, according to the commission, which reported that on July 17, 2015, CPSC announced a recall with the manufacturer of 367,000 EKO Trash Cans.

Costco sold the trash cans nationwide between December 2013 and May 2015 for about $50.

In addition to paying the $3.85 million civil penalty, Costco has agreed to maintain a compliance program designed to achieve compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act and a system of internal controls and procedures to ensure that Costco discloses information to the commission as required. The settlement does not constitute an admission of CPSC staff's charges; the penalty agreement has been accepted provisionally by the commission by a 4-0 vote.

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