April 26, 2019 — In September 2017, 9 year-old Caroline Cooper suffered 3rd-degree burns covering about 16% of her body when an Instant Pot exploded.
Her mother was cooking soup in the kitchen and the Instant Pot beeped when it was done. she manually vented it, steam came out, and the valve float dropped. When she twisted the lid to add more ingredients, it exploded and injured Caroline, who was in the kitchen.
Caroline’s body was covered in boiling-hot soup and her face was burned by a hot burst of steam. She suffered disfiguring scalding burn injuries to her shoulder, arm, chest, and torso, according to a lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that Instant Pot’s primary “safety” claim — that a pressurized pot cannot be opened by the consumer — is “not true.” Her attorney warned:
“We’ve got a lot of cases around the world where users are experiencing the lid popping off and the contents of the Instant Pot spewing all over causing third degree burns – these are the facts.”
Investigators with FOX31 Problem Solvers tested 3 different versions of the Instant Pot. They put stew ingredients into the pressure cooker, locked it, and allowed the cooker to pressurize until the metal “stop-plunger” on top popped up.
They waited a few minutes before trying to twist open the locked lid. Two of the pressure cookers did not open, but the third Instant Pot repeatedly opened under pressure. Instant Pot’s user manual claims that should never happen.
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