Town of Genesee-based Generac Holdings Inc. has agreed to pay a $15.8 million civil penalty as part of a settlement related to several models of the company’s portable generators that caused consumers to crush their fingers and in some cases led to amputations.
An investigation led by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that Generac failed to immediately report to the organization -- as required by law -- that 32 models of its Generac and DR 6500 watt and 8000 watt portable generators contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard and created an unreasonable risk of serious injury to consumers.
Generac re-issued a recall last November for the portable generators that can cause injury to users. The recall was originally issued in July 2021.
According to a recall summary from the company, the portable generators have an unlocked handle. That unlocked handle can “pinch” consumers’ fingers against the generator frame when the generator is moved, posing finger amputation and crushing hazards.
At the time, Generac said it had become aware of 37 total injuries. Of those 37, 31 were finger amputations and six were crushed fingers.
“Beginning in October 2018 and continuing into 2020, Generac received reports of incidents from consumers whose fingers were partially amputated or crushed by the unlocked handle of the portable generator,” according to a press release from the CPSC. “Despite possessing this information, Generac did not immediately report to the commission.”
The settlement agreement requires Generac to implement and maintain a compliance program and system of internal controls and procedures designed to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). Generac has also agreed to file, for a period of three years, annual reports regarding its compliance program, system of internal controls, and internal audits of the effectiveness of the new compliance program and internal controls.