Dorel Announces Settlement With U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Guidance Maintained For Fiscal Year



Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Dorel Industries Inc.

    MONTREAL, April 3 /PRNewswire/ - Dorel Industries Inc. (TSE: DII.A,
 DII.B; NASDAQ:   DIIBF) announced today that it has agreed to a US $1.75 million
 settlement with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to resolve
 issues relating to delayed reporting of consumers' complaints involving some
 of the products manufactured by subsidiaries Cosco Inc. and recently acquired
 Safety 1st.
     "This is a global resolution of all pending matters with the CPSC. We now
 have a much clearer understanding of reporting obligations and we will improve
 on how we report information to the Commission," said Dorel President and CEO,
 Martin Schwartz.
     Mr. Schwartz added that there is no question that the Consumer Product
 Safety Commission plays an essential role in protecting public safety. "That
 is why we have pledged to improve our reporting practices and to continue to
 fully cooperate with the commission. But we strongly object to the implication
 that we don't care about the safety of our products or the consumers who use
 them. We put in the marketplace each year over 14 million products. At any
 point in time there are tens of millions of our products in use. When you
 consider our size, our safety record is the best in the industry. It is
 because we care about safety that we are quick to make improvements when we
 receive reports of potential problems. CPSC knows that in the two tragic
 incidents where children died, the products in question were misassembled. We
 will cooperate with CPSC to protect consumers."
     A total of seven products, most of which date back through 1994 to 1998,
 are involved. Five were manufactured by Cosco and two by Safety 1st.
     Cosco and Safety 1st are entering into this agreement for settlement
 purposes only, to avoid incurring additional legal costs and to bring closure
 to this matter. Cosco and Safety 1st deny any liability or wrongdoing of any
 kind.
     "Consumers can be confident in the safety of Cosco and Safety 1st
 products. Several months ago we instituted significant steps to further
 enhance Cosco's quality assurance and product tracking programs as part of our
 continuous efforts to improve the quality and safety of our products."
     This included the establishment of a new position of Vice President of
 Quality Assurance and Product Safety. A product safety expert with more than
 20 years of experience has been hired to oversee these areas and to work
 directly with the CPSC. Additional staff has been engaged to provide increased
 communications with the public and government on product performance and
 safety issues.
     Cosco was the first juvenile products company to develop its own in-house
 crash-test laboratory and crash-test sled and remains the only juvenile
 products company in North America with such a facility. Dorel continues to
 make investments to ensure that this state-of-the-art facility remains leading
 edge.
     Cosco is North America's largest manufacturer of car seats, strollers,
 toddler beds, and is one of the leading manufacturers of high chairs, playards
 and cribs. Given the millions of products sold annually by Cosco, its recall
 record is the best in the industry.
     "We are in a very sensitive industry and fully accept the obligations
 this entails. Safety of our products must always be a prime concern. Product
 development drives our businesses and we consistently focus on the safety
 aspect of every new design," concluded Mr. Schwartz.
     Negotiations on the CPSC settlement began last year. As such, Dorel
 reserved a significant portion of the settlement fee in fiscal 2000. While
 there will be a less than $0.02 per share impact this year, the Company
 reiterated it will earn between US $1.70 to US $1.75 for fiscal 2001.
 
     DOREL PROFILE
     Dorel is a rapidly growing, consumer products manufacturer specializing
 in three product areas: juvenile products, ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture
 and home furnishings. Dorel's product offerings include a wide variety of RTA
 furniture for home and office use; juvenile products such as infant car seats,
 strollers, high chairs, toddler beds and cribs; and home furnishings such as
 metal folding chairs, tables, bunk beds, futons and step stools.
     Dorel employs more than 3,800 people in nine countries. Major North
 American facilities are located in Montreal, Quebec; Cornwall, Ontario;
 Columbus, Indiana; Wright City, Missouri; Tiffin, Ohio; Dowagiac, Michigan;
 Cartersville, Georgia and Canton, Massachusetts. The Company's major divisions
 in the United States include Cosco, Ameriwood and Safety 1st. In Canada, Dorel
 operates Ridgewood and Dorel Home Products. European operations are carried
 out through Maxi-Miliaan B.V. in the Netherlands and Dorel U.K. Ltd. in the
 United Kingdom.
 
     Except for the historical information contained herein, this press
 release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements, as
 defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-
 looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause
 actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements.
 Factors that may cause or contribute to such differences include, among other
 things, the Company's ability to close the proposed transaction. Other risks
 and uncertainties include changes in business conditions and the economy in
 general, changes in governmental regulations, unforeseen litigation and other
 risk factors identified in the Company's public filings under "Risk Factors."
 The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking
 statements for revisions or changes after the date of this press release.
 
 

SOURCE Dorel Industries Inc.
    MONTREAL, April 3 /PRNewswire/ - Dorel Industries Inc. (TSE: DII.A,
 DII.B; NASDAQ:   DIIBF) announced today that it has agreed to a US $1.75 million
 settlement with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to resolve
 issues relating to delayed reporting of consumers' complaints involving some
 of the products manufactured by subsidiaries Cosco Inc. and recently acquired
 Safety 1st.
     "This is a global resolution of all pending matters with the CPSC. We now
 have a much clearer understanding of reporting obligations and we will improve
 on how we report information to the Commission," said Dorel President and CEO,
 Martin Schwartz.
     Mr. Schwartz added that there is no question that the Consumer Product
 Safety Commission plays an essential role in protecting public safety. "That
 is why we have pledged to improve our reporting practices and to continue to
 fully cooperate with the commission. But we strongly object to the implication
 that we don't care about the safety of our products or the consumers who use
 them. We put in the marketplace each year over 14 million products. At any
 point in time there are tens of millions of our products in use. When you
 consider our size, our safety record is the best in the industry. It is
 because we care about safety that we are quick to make improvements when we
 receive reports of potential problems. CPSC knows that in the two tragic
 incidents where children died, the products in question were misassembled. We
 will cooperate with CPSC to protect consumers."
     A total of seven products, most of which date back through 1994 to 1998,
 are involved. Five were manufactured by Cosco and two by Safety 1st.
     Cosco and Safety 1st are entering into this agreement for settlement
 purposes only, to avoid incurring additional legal costs and to bring closure
 to this matter. Cosco and Safety 1st deny any liability or wrongdoing of any
 kind.
     "Consumers can be confident in the safety of Cosco and Safety 1st
 products. Several months ago we instituted significant steps to further
 enhance Cosco's quality assurance and product tracking programs as part of our
 continuous efforts to improve the quality and safety of our products."
     This included the establishment of a new position of Vice President of
 Quality Assurance and Product Safety. A product safety expert with more than
 20 years of experience has been hired to oversee these areas and to work
 directly with the CPSC. Additional staff has been engaged to provide increased
 communications with the public and government on product performance and
 safety issues.
     Cosco was the first juvenile products company to develop its own in-house
 crash-test laboratory and crash-test sled and remains the only juvenile
 products company in North America with such a facility. Dorel continues to
 make investments to ensure that this state-of-the-art facility remains leading
 edge.
     Cosco is North America's largest manufacturer of car seats, strollers,
 toddler beds, and is one of the leading manufacturers of high chairs, playards
 and cribs. Given the millions of products sold annually by Cosco, its recall
 record is the best in the industry.
     "We are in a very sensitive industry and fully accept the obligations
 this entails. Safety of our products must always be a prime concern. Product
 development drives our businesses and we consistently focus on the safety
 aspect of every new design," concluded Mr. Schwartz.
     Negotiations on the CPSC settlement began last year. As such, Dorel
 reserved a significant portion of the settlement fee in fiscal 2000. While
 there will be a less than $0.02 per share impact this year, the Company
 reiterated it will earn between US $1.70 to US $1.75 for fiscal 2001.
 
     DOREL PROFILE
     Dorel is a rapidly growing, consumer products manufacturer specializing
 in three product areas: juvenile products, ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture
 and home furnishings. Dorel's product offerings include a wide variety of RTA
 furniture for home and office use; juvenile products such as infant car seats,
 strollers, high chairs, toddler beds and cribs; and home furnishings such as
 metal folding chairs, tables, bunk beds, futons and step stools.
     Dorel employs more than 3,800 people in nine countries. Major North
 American facilities are located in Montreal, Quebec; Cornwall, Ontario;
 Columbus, Indiana; Wright City, Missouri; Tiffin, Ohio; Dowagiac, Michigan;
 Cartersville, Georgia and Canton, Massachusetts. The Company's major divisions
 in the United States include Cosco, Ameriwood and Safety 1st. In Canada, Dorel
 operates Ridgewood and Dorel Home Products. European operations are carried
 out through Maxi-Miliaan B.V. in the Netherlands and Dorel U.K. Ltd. in the
 United Kingdom.
 
     Except for the historical information contained herein, this press
 release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements, as
 defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-
 looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause
 actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements.
 Factors that may cause or contribute to such differences include, among other
 things, the Company's ability to close the proposed transaction. Other risks
 and uncertainties include changes in business conditions and the economy in
 general, changes in governmental regulations, unforeseen litigation and other
 risk factors identified in the Company's public filings under "Risk Factors."
 The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking
 statements for revisions or changes after the date of this press release.
 
 SOURCE Dorel Industries Inc.