PetSmart to pay $4.25 million fine for not reporting faulty fish bowls


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The American retail chain PetSmart has agreed to pay a $4.25 million civil penalty fine after failing to immediately report a problem with defective goldfish bowls. 

There were 19 reports of bowls sold under the ‘Top Fin’ and ‘Grreat Choice’ brands cracking, breaking and even shattering in normal use between August 2011 and January 2014 — some of the consumers were left with serious injuries that required surgery. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said that the fish bowls contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or an unreasonable risk of serious injury, and that PetSmart had failed to report the problem to CPSC, as well as the scope of the recalled products.

The bowls were sold in PetSmart stores between March 2010 and September 2013. PetSmart announced a recall in April 2014 of around 10,000 bowls, which it later expanded in November 2015 to an additional 81,000.

PetSmart issued a statement, which said: ”The safety of our pet parents and their pets is our top priority, and we are committed to identifying and addressing any safety issues quickly. We stopped selling the glass fishbowls in 2013 and conducted two voluntary recalls. Since that time, we have made significant improvements to our processes, protocols and sourcing of products."

The CPSC said the company will also work on improving compliance with consumer safety laws.