Black & Decker settles federal allegations that it failed to timely report lawnmower defects

BALTIMORE – Black & Decker has agreed to pay almost $1.6 million to settle allegations that it failed to report safety problems with cordless electric lawnmowers.

The Department of Justice and Consumer Product Safety Commission claimed that the company violated reporting requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Officials said Wednesday that the problems involved lawnmowers that either started spontaneously or that continued to operate after users released the handles and removed the safety keys. The lawnmowers were manufactured and sold by Black & Decker from 1995 to 2006.

Black & Decker did not admit any wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which requires court approval.

But authorities noted that the company has previously paid four civil penalties relating to untimely reporting of defects and risks involving other Black & Decker products.