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Exploding toilets injure 14, product recalled

No one expects to sit down to use the toilet and have it explode. Yet, there have been at least 14 injured when components inside the toilet tanks exploded while it was in use.

The component, the Sloan Flushmate III Pressure-Assist Flushing System, uses water pressure combined with air to make toilets flush forcefully. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that the stored pressure inside the units can build up and burst. As a result, over 2.3 million Flushmate units have been recalled all over the country.

Hundreds of explosions

To date, over 300 Flushmate units already have exploded inside the toilet tanks. Of the 14 injured, it appears victims suffered "impact and laceration[s]." No deaths have been reported.

The Flushmate III is constructed from black plastic. The recalled parts have the series numbers 503 in addition to a serial number of 16 characters. The manufacture dates are the initial six digits of the serial number. Included in the nationwide recall are those units manufactured between Oct. 14, 1997 (101497) and Feb. 29, 2008 (022908).

What consumers should do

The CPSC is telling consumers who a suspect Flushmate unit installed in their toilet tanks to cut off the water and quit using the component to avoid injury and damages.

The company is providing consumers with free repair kits. To learn how to obtain yours, call (800) 303-5123 or visit their website.

Anyone who was injured by an exploding toilet tank may want to file a claim against the Sloan Flushmate company for product liability. If enough claimants file, they may elect to pursue a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective devices.

Consumers here in the United States have the expectation that the products they bring into their home, when used properly for the intended purpose, will not cause injury or harm. The purpose of federal agencies like the CPSC and others is to prevent unsafe products from making it into the American marketplace. Consumers who take the steps to hold these companies responsible for these incidents of negligence can keep the market safer for all.

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