Consumer Affairs finds retailer fully cooperated with recall of toy dart gun

FREEHOLD, NJ – When the Monmouth County Department of Consumer Affairs learned that Family Dollar “Auto Fire” toy dart guns were being recalled by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission after two young boys choked to death on the darts, investigators visited the stores to make sure they were complying with the recall. Inspectors did not find any of the toy dart sets.

“Not only did Family Dollar comply with the recall, it appears the store worked with the  Consumer Products Safety Commission and urged CPSC to issue the recall after the toy manufacturer refused to do so,” county Consumer Affairs Director Patricia Watson said. “I’m happy to report our inspectors did not find any of these dart sets in any of the Family Dollar stores in Monmouth County.”

The toy dart gun recall was announced May 14 after the CPSC determined that the toys represent an asphyxiation hazard for children. The two victims included a 9-year-old boy from Chicago, Ill. and a 10-year-old boy from Milwaukee, WI.

The toy dart gun sets were made by Henry Gordy International Inc., of Plainfield, and were sold exclusively through Family Dollar. Henry Gordy refused to issue the recall after the boys’ deaths were reported, and Family Dollar worked with CPSC on the recall.

“Family Dollar stores have fully cooperated in this recall,” Watson said. “If a consumer discovers that he or she already owns this item, it should be removed from use and either destroyed or returned to Family Dollar for a full refund.”

The toy in question is the “Auto Fire” toy target set sold with either an orange and yellow toy gun (Item #P238) or a blue and yellow toy gun (Item #9328), eight orange darts and a small target with numbers from 1 to 20. The gun’s item number is located on one side of the handle in raised lettering.

The soft plastic darts measure just over one inch in length and have a small suction cup at one end with a diameter of about ½ inch. The target board is black, yellow, red and green, and measures five inches in diameter.  “Gordy Toy” for “Ages 8+” is printed on the packaging.

For more information, contact Monmouth County Consumer Affairs at 732-431-7900 or Family Dollar at 800-547-0359. Additional information about consumer affairs can be found on the county website at www.visitmonmouth.com or by calling 732-431-7900. The office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Consumer Affairs department is a law enforcement agency, created and funded by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It protects against consumer fraud and dishonest and unscrupulous business practices by enforcing the state Consumer Fraud Act and other regulations.

“The county’s Consumer Affairs office enforces consumer laws and helps people whether violations are present or not,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the department. “In 2009 the department mediated 800 complaints and recovered more than $550,000 for consumers. This is one of the many important ways the county is able to assist residents.”

Mediation includes letters, telephone calls, e-mails, faxes and informal conferences with businesses. If a business is uncooperative and does not appear as scheduled, the department has the authority to subpoena, a function coordinated with the Monmouth County Sheriff’s office.