In the third recall in conjunction with the CPSC since early 2004, Nautilus announced the action regarding the Nautilus NT 1020 Exercise Bench because of possibly faulty seat welds.
According to a Consumer Product Safety Council statement issued July 1, a weld on the frame of the bench, which was sold at specialty fitness from November 2000 to January 2004 for $300 to $400, can crack and separate. That would allow the bench to collapse and the user to fall and be injured.
Nautilus has received four reports of the weld separating from the exercise bench's main frame, but no injuries have been reported, the statement said.
Nautilus has been reviewing its customer service calls and comments in the past two years and identified this as a possible problem, spokesman Ron Arp said. The company then took its findings to the CPSC.
"It was identified through our review of field experience," Arp said. "We'll do whatever it takes to assure that people can buy our products with confidence knowing we'll stand behind them. That's what people expect when buying great brands."
He added that no lawsuits had been filed.
The CPSC said the manufacturer was Daytona Fitness Co., of Xiamen, China, and that 10,000 units of the freestanding bench had been sold. A potentially faulty product can be identified by the production date code at the bench's base near the wheels. Units included in this recall have codes from year 2002 that run between code numbers 1952 and 3652, and Production Date Codes from year 2003 that run between code numbers 0013 and 1903. Benches that are white in color and do not have a Production Date Code sticker also are included in this recall.
This is the third recall in 18 months, in addition to a $950,000 civil penalty levied against Nautilus by the CPSC in April 2005 for alleged delaying reports on injuries and defects on nearly 800,000 Bowflex machines recalled in early 2004 (see SNEWSÂ® story, April 13, 2005, "Nautilus pays 'tough' CPSC fine of nearly a million").
The first recall was in January 2004 and the second in November 2004, with both pertaining to various models of Bowflex machines or attachments. For more, see SNEWSÂ® stories, Jan. 30, 2004, "Nautilus recalls 420,000 Bowflex units after injury reports;" and Nov. 17, 2004, "Nautilus activates second Bowflex recall this year with CPSC." The cost of the recalls were handled from Nautilus' warranty reserve fund at a cost of under $2 million, according to the company for a total cost somewhere in the $2 million-plus range when the fines are included.
The CPSC has been taking a tough stance and issuing larger and more frequent penalties for what it perceives as lack of diligence by companies in reporting problems to the group. The point, the CPSC has said, is to improve reporting. In the fitness segment, Horizon Fitness had also been hit Oct. 29, 2004, with a fine of $500,000 for what the CPSC saw as a delay in reporting (see SNEWSÂ® story, Nov. 1, 2004, "Horizon hit with $500K CPSC fine for unreported potential treadmill hazards").