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Exploding toilet prompts recall

The United States is recalling millions of faulty flushing mechanisms that have caused toilets to explode, creating “laceration risks” for toilet users.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the warning about the Flushmate III Pressure-Assisted Flushing System, which was sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores and to toilet manufacturers American Standard, Crane, Kohler, Eljer, Mansfield, St. Thomas and Gerber.

The recall applies to devices manufactured between 1997 and 2008 -- about 2.3 million in the United States and 9,000 in Canada.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Flushmate has received 304 reports of the product bursting, with 14 “impact or laceration injuries.”

Anyone who owns a toilet with the recalled system should shut off the water connection to the toilet and contact Flushmate at (800) 303-5123 to request a free repair kit, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a recall notice.

Earlier this month, a Las Vegas woman sued Flushmate and its parent, Sloan Valve Co., in federal court in Los Angeles. The woman, Maralee Pelka, said the faulty device caused her toilet to malfunction and leak.

The lawsuit contends that the repair kit offered in the recall is inadequate and the entire flushing system needs to be replaced by a professional plumber. Her lawsuit seeks class-action status and unspecified monetary damages.

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