WASHINGTON — J.C. Penney Co. announced that it is voluntarily recalling 26,240 velvety-textured chenille sweaters, which the retailer said fail federal flammability standards.
The chain, acting in conjunction with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, agreed to an agency-issued press release which warned consumers not to wear these sweaters, “which could present a risk of serious burn injuries if exposed to an open flame.”
“If the sweaters catch on fire, they can burn as fast as newspaper,” the agency statement said. Under federal law, retailers must certify that apparel meets flammability-resistance requirements and report those which fail these tests to the CPSC. The agency does not conduct any apparel flammability tests.
Neither the retailer nor the CPSC is aware of any injuries involving these sweaters, the agency said in a press statement. A Penney’s spokesman said the flammability situation was discovered as part of its routine retesting of apparel for flammability, the original test having revealed no problems.
Penney’s imported the sweaters from Matsue Industries Co. Ltd., Hong Kong, and sold them under the brand name M B Mixed Blues Clothing Co., the agency said. Penney’s retail stores and its 1996 Christmas catalog sold the sweaters nationwide in September and October for $29 to $36. Penney’s had imported about 60,000 units and sold 26,240 before the recall was announced, a spokesman said, adding that the unsold sweaters were pulled from distribution.
The sweaters, made of 67 percent rayon and 33 percent nylon, were sold at Penney’s retail stores as lot numbers 642-1410 and 642-1411, and in its Christmas catalog as lot number 542-0971. In addition, the sweaters subject to this recall have on the front of the care label the RN number 93677, and on the back, the supplier number 701524.
The agency said consumers can return these sweaters to Penney’s stores for a full refund, or a credit. If these sweaters were purchased through Penney’s Christmas catalog, they can be returned to the catalog desk at any Penney’s store or can be returned by mail, with the retailer paying postage charges, an agency spokeswoman said.