Black & Decker Inc. has settled with the federal government to pay $960,000 in order to end the inquiry into whether the company did not report safety problems with a weed whacker it sold, according to a statement Wednesday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In the agreement, Black & Decker denies that it knowingly violated federal law by failing to report several defects with the Grasshog XP. The law requires companies to file a report to the commission, within one day, when it suspects that a product may cause serious injury or death because of a defect.
The commission alleged that Black & Decker knew as early as May 2006 that the electric trimmer was defective and cause harm and did not report them immediately to the government.
The CPSC also claims that during the government's investigation the company withheld details available about the product's hazards and the increasing tally of injuries caused by the machine.
The trimmer can overheat and burn the user and the cutting spool can come loose and fly off the device, the commission said.
Black & Decker has issued two recalls for the trimmer, which was sold from late-2005 until the spring of 2007. More than 150 injuries caused by the product have been reported, according to the commission's statement.
Black & Decker merged with The Stanley Works in 2010, but the company still maintains a combined power tools division in Towson.