• The CPSC said Thyssenkrupp Access' elevators were installed with a "hazardous gap"
  • The agency said children can get trapped in the "excessive space"
  • A 2-year-old child died in 2017 in an elevator accident

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has filed an administrative complaint against Thyssenkrupp Access alleging that its residential elevators pose a "deadly gap hazard." The agency cited three incidents, including the death of a child in 2017.

Certain models of the company's residential elevators "manufactured and distributed through 2012" were allegedly installed with a hazardous gap between the interior elevator car door gate and the exterior hoistway, the agency noted in a press release Wednesday. Children can get trapped in the "excessive space" and get seriously injured or even killed when the elevator moves to another floor.

"The models include, but are not limited to: Chaparral, Destiny, LEV, LEV II, LEV II Builder, Rise, Volant, Windsor, Independence, and Flexi-Lift models," the CPSC said. "Thyssenkrupp has refused to conduct a voluntary recall of the hazardous residential elevators."

The residential elevators are defective "for a variety of reasons," the agency said. According to the complaint, there are defects in the elevators' "contents, construction, finish, packaging, warnings and/or instructions."

The agency cited three incidents, including the death of a 2-year-old in 2017. A 4-year-old child also sustained crush injuries in 2019, while a 3-year-old was left "permanently disabled" in 2010 after suffering a "catastrophic brain injury."

"Upon information and belief, children are likely to interact with and playfully explore the Elevators, and it is foreseeable that children could become entrapped between the hoistway and elevator car doors," the complaint stated. "Parents and caregivers are not likely to know about or appreciate the safety hazard to children posed by the Hazardous Space between the hoistway and elevator car doors."

In the complaint, the agency said Thyssenkrupp should be ordered to notify its consumers of the defect and to offer them free solutions, like installing a free space guard to reduce the gap.

The CPSC is also urging consumers to block or disable children's access to residential elevators. The agency had recently cautioned people planning to book rental vacation homes with residential elevators of the "deadly" hazard.

"These injuries and deaths are ghastly," Acting Chairman Robert Adler said in the release. "The gaps in residential elevators are truly a hidden hazard for homeowners, and for anyone who is visiting or renting a home with an elevator."

Pictured: Representative image of the alarm bell on an elevator. Narcis Ciocan/Pixabay