One of the United States’ largest fire safety products companies has issued a sweeping recall that affects some of its products manufactured as far back as 1973. The November 2 announcement, coordinated with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), covers 134 models of fire extinguishers manufactured by Kidde.
Consumers are cautioned that the affected extinguishers can fail to work in an emergency and that their nozzles can detach with enough force to be a hazard. Anyone who owns an extinguisher covered by the recall should contact Kidde for a replacement.
More Than 40 Million Units
The recall includes over 40 million total units, with the majority (37.8 million) sold in the U.S. and the rest sold in Canada. According to the recall notice, the problem involves the potential for these models to clog and not work when needed.
In addition, the nozzles can sometimes detach almost explosively when used. The company and the CPSC have received 391 reports of failure, including ninety-one reports of property damage and sixteen reports of injuries (most of which are believed to have been due to fires that the extinguishers were unable to put out).
One Fatality Attributed
A defective unit has been blamed for one death. In August 2014, a twenty-two-year-old Pennsylvania man died after his car struck a tree and caught fire. Emergency personnel were unable to get their extinguishers, which are included on the recall list, to work at the scene. The man’s family has since settled with Kidde.
The complete list of models covered by the recall is extensive. Units were produced as recently as this September and sold by department stores, hardware stores, and online retailers with prices from as little as $12 to as much as $200.
The CPSC notice includes all the affected models, as well as instructions for identifying them. Some models were distributed as included equipment in commercial trucks, RVs, and even boats, and specific information for those units is also available.
The CPSC reminds consumers that selling a recalled product is against the law. In theory, you could be hit with a $100,000 fine for doing it—although, as far as we know, only manufacturers and retailers have ever been prosecuted.
NYC Product Liability Lawyer
Most manufacturers pride themselves on making safe products that do what they’re designed to. But things can go wrong due to a design flaw, a manufacturing defect, or some other circumstance.
Most companies act quickly to accept responsibility and correct problems once they’re discovered, as Kidde seems to have done in this case. But not all businesses behave so well. Some make efforts to cover up problems, and in the worst cases, some have even produced and sold products they knew to be hazardous.
When you or someone close to you has been harmed by a defective product, give Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP a call. Our attorneys have years of experience with product liability cases, and we always put victims first. Reach us at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation today.