January 27, 2014 — Safety authorities are expanding a recall for the Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing System because the pressurized toilets can burst near the vessel weld seam and explode, which can lift the tank lid and shatter the tank. Numerous exploding toilet lawsuits have already been filed by people who had property damage or laceration injuries.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) previously recalled about 2.3 million Series 503 Flushmate III toilets in June 2012, after receiving 304 reports of exploding toilets which resulted in property damage and 14 injuries. Products included in the recall were manufactured from October 1997 to February 2008.
Now, the CPSC and Flushmate are expanding the recall to include toilets manufactured from March 2008 through June 2009, which includes about 351,000 units. The company has received three reports of the toilets exploding, resulting in property damage but no reports of injury.
The worst known injury is a man who had a severe laceration on his back that was stitched together, as seen on the CPSC website. The man needed dozens of stitches on his back for deep lacerations caused by exploding porcelain.
According to the victim:
“Because I am a bigger person, I was able to absorb the brunt of the force. Again, had this happened to someone elderly or a child, the outcome could have been catastrophic.”
Flushmate Class Action Lawsuit
At least one Flushmate class action lawsuit has been filed, alleging that the repair kit provided as part of the Flushmate III recall was inadequate, and the entire system actually needed to be replaced by a professional plumber. Lawsuits also allege that Flushmate knew about the defect in 2000 or even earlier, but continued to sell the toilet without warning consumers about the safety hazard. The class action was filed in California federal court and is seeking $5 million against Flushmate, which is owned by Sloan Valve Co.
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