Cybex Agrees to Pay $7.95 Million Civil Penalty Related to CPSC Cases

The penalty settles two separate cases involving the company’s arm curl machine and its Smith press machine. Both cases occurred under former owners. (Photo by BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images Plus.)

Cybex International Inc. has agreed to pay a $7.95 million civil penalty in a settlement that resolves cases involving its arm curl machine and its Smith press machine, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The commission had charged that Cybex failed to immediately report to CPSC, as required by law, that its arm curl machine and Smith press machine contained a defect or created an unreasonable risk of serious injury.

Cybex recalled the arm curl machines on Aug. 25, 2015, when it was owned by UM Holdings. It subsequently recalled the Smith press machines on Aug. 29, 2018, at which time it was part of the Life Fitness division of Brunswick Corp.

In May 2019, Brunswick announced it was selling the Life Fitness division for $490 million in cash to KPS Capital Partners, LP, an investment firm that owns Life Fitness (and Cybex) today.

The settlement of this matter does not constitute an admission of the charges, according to the announcement.

Life Fitness shared this statement with Club Industry: Cybex has worked closely with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to reach a settlement and resolve two claims of delayed reporting related to two legacy Cybex products, the Arm Curl and Smith Press machines. These legacy products were last sold over a decade ago in 2008 and 2009, respectively, under prior company ownership. The safety of our customers and those who exercise on our equipment is our top priority, and, as always, we remain committed to ensuring that all of our products continue to meet the highest industry safety and quality standards.

CPSC charged that Cybex had information that a weld on its arm curl machines can fatigue and fail, causing the handle to separate unexpectedly and strike the user in the face. Cybex received 85 reports of broken handles, including reports of serious injuries and one report of permanent vision loss, but the fitness equipment manufacturer did not notify the CPSC immediately of the defect or risk, according to CPSC.

CPSC also charged that Cybex had information that the weight bar on its Smith press machines can fall, posing serious impact injury hazards to users. Cybex received 27 reports of injuries associated with the Smith press machine, including reports of paralysis and spinal fracture, but the company did not notify the CPSC immediately of the defect or risk, according to the CPSC.

In addition to paying the $7.95 million civil penalty, Cybex has agreed to maintain an enhanced compliance program to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act. Cybex will also maintain a related system of internal controls and procedures to ensure that information required to be disclosed by Cybex to the commission is recorded, processed and reported in accordance with applicable law.

The penalty agreement has been accepted provisionally by the commission by a 3-0-1 vote. 

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