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Bowflex a little $ore
CPSC says Nautilus will pay $950,000 for failing to report defects, injuries from fitness machines.
April 12, 2005: 1:06 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Nautilus Inc. agreed to pay a $950,000 penalty to settle allegations that the company failed to give reports on serious injuries and safety defects with nearly 800,000 Bowflex fitness machines, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Tuesday.

Under federal law, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers must immediately report information about potentially hazardous products to the CPSC.

"The recent penalties levied by CPSC send a strong message that failing to report potential hazards is illegal," CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton said in a statement.

"Companies need to understand that the quicker they report product safety problems to CPSC, the quicker we can take action together and protect consumers from injuries."

In the statement, the CPSC cited the Bowflex home gym's backboard bench, seat pin and incline support bracket hazards.

Among other injuries, the CPSC alleges that Nautilus knew of 27 incidents when the backboard bench broke apart and collapsed. The Vancouver, Wash.-based company allegedly knew but did not report to CPSC that consumers suffered back, disc and neck injuries and falls resulting in chipped teeth.

"No one likes to pay penalties, but the truth is we have a better reporting process and a new standard for safety," Ron Arp, senior vice president of corporate communications at Nautilus, told CNN/Money.

Nautilus' (Research) Bowflex equipment, which uses special power rods to provide resistance, is marketed to users through TV, the Internet and direct mail.

In January 2004, CPSC and Nautilus announced the recall of the Bowflex Power Pro model with "Lat Tower" attachment and issued customers a free safety reinforcement kit by mail.

In November 2004, CPSC and Nautilus announced an additional recall to repair the seat pin on Bowflex Power Pro models and again issued free replacement parts through the mail.

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