The manufacturer of a pressure-assisted toilet flusher is recalling nearly 1.5 million of the devices because they can explode causing the toilet tank to shatter and cause severe injuries and property damage. According to news reports, the company, Flushmate, says it has received 1,453 reports in the United States and Canada of the units exploding causing 23 injuries including one that required foot surgery. Property damages from these exploding toilets have been estimated at over $700,000.
Details of the Recall
The recalled model has been identified as the Flushmate II 501-B, which was manufactured and sold for use in residential and commercial buildings. A company spokesperson told Consumer Reports that Flushmate discontinued this particular model five years ago. However, many of these units still remain in use.
The pressure-assisted flushing system fits in the toilet tank and is usually sold separately. This unit is not as common as the gravity-assisted flushers, with which most toilets are equipped. The recalled toilet flushers are rounded oval, black two-piece units made of injection molded plastic and have a date code-serial number (15 characters) that is located on the label on top. The system may potentially explode at its weld seam located at the middle of the unit and then release sufficient pressure to blow off the tank lid and/or shatter the tank.
The products were sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores and by toilet distributors and plumbing contractors. They were also sold online by grainger.com, hdsupply.com, Home Depot and other online stores from 1996 through 2015. The manufacturer is urging consumers to stop using the recalled Flushmate II 501-B systems, turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush the toilet to release any internal pressure. Consumers can contact the company to request a free replacement unit and complimentary installation.
Product Liability Issues
Product manufacturers have a responsibility to make items that are safe for consumers to use. When a product is defective, its manufacturer also has an obligation to let the public know about the potential dangers. If you have been injured by a faulty or defective product, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, benefits, hospitalization expenses, permanent injuries, cost of rehabilitative therapy, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Please contact an experienced product defect lawyer who will fight for your rights, secure maximum compensation for your losses, and help hold the at-fault manufacturer accountable.