Johnson Health Tech Matrix Fitness Trainer Investigation

This investigation focuses on the safety of certain fitness trainers manufactured and marketed by Johnson Health Tech after the company entered into a $3 million civil penalty agreement with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in response to multiple product reports of machine fires or other defects.

Overview of Johnson Health Tech Trainer Investigation

Following Johnson Health’s August 2015 settlement of multiple product safety complaints with the CPSC, an investigation into two elliptical trainers sold by Johnson Health Tech North America Inc. (Johnson Health), the Wisconsin based subsidiary of Johnson Health Tech Co. Ltd, of Taiwan, has been initiated.

The agreement settles charges that Johnson Health knowingly failed to immediately report to the CPSC a defect and an unreasonable risk of serious injury with their Matrix Fitness Ascent Trainers and Matrix Fitness Elliptical Trainers. These exercise machines defect involved a build-up of moisture in the power sockets of the units from perspiration or cleaning liquids, which caused the machines to short circuit.  Between March 2012 and October 2013, Johnson Health received multiple reports of smoking, sparking or melted power components as well as reports of trainer fires.  Although Johnson Health redesigned two elements of the machines to remedy the problem, the company failed to provide required notification of the problem to regulatory authorities within 24 hours of detection, which put users at an unreasonable risk for serious injury and/or death.  Johnson recalled both trainers in January 2014, after manufacturing, importing and selling more than 3,000 units in the U.S. from September 2011 to December 2012 for prices ranging from $6,000 and $11,000 each.  In addition to the $3 million civil penalty assessed to the company, the agreement terms require Johnson Health to institute a corporation wide compliance program that includes a system of internal controls and procedures to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Johnson Health has a history of CPSC enforcement issues commencing in 2004 when a $500,000 penalty was assessed for “runaway” treadmills that could suddenly accelerate to nearly 17 mph.  In 2013, Johnson Health also recalled thousands of “Krankcycles” exercise bicycles for a seat defect that could detach and cause riders to fall off the machines.  In 2014, the company also recalled about 1,100 strength-training towers related to a plastic connector defect that could loosen or break.

Individuals who own a Matrix Fitness Ascent Trainer or Matrix Fitness Elliptical Trainer that caught fire, melted, sparked or smoked may have a legal claim against Johnson Health.



Article Type: Investigation
Topic: Consumer
No case events.
Tags: Defective Product, Fitness Equipment and Products