Illinois residents who purchased adult snorkeling sets from the big-box retailer Costco between February and July would be wise to check to see if the batch number printed on the snorkel is between 2038 and 2051 or 2102 and 2115. This is because the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of 76,000 snorkels on Sept. 22 because of a possible drowning hazard. The mask and fins that were packaged along with the snorkels are not covered by the recall. All of the affected snorkels were sold at Costco stores.
The company that manufactured the snorkels decided to issue the recall after receiving at least 13 complaints from consumers. Snorkels are designed to allow swimmers to breathe safely while their heads are below the water surface, but the units covered by the recall should not be used for this purpose because their lower purge valves can leak. The only injuries linked to the issue are minor cuts and bruises suffered by a consumer who tripped and fell after the snorkel they were using began to let in water.
The affected snorkels are made out of light gray and white plastic and have their batch numbers printed on their air tubes close to the mouthpiece. The defective product recall is being conducted in cooperation with Costco, but consumers are being asked not to return snorkels to the store where they purchased them. Instead, they should use the manufacturer’s online form to provide their information and request a replacement snorkel. The replacement is being offered at no charge, and the manufacturer has agreed to cover all shipping costs. Consumers are also urged to cut the air tubes on defective snorkels before discarding them to make sure that they cannot be used again.
Product liability lawsuits
Manufacturers announce recalls like this one to prevent accidents and injuries and avoid product liability litigation. When consumer complaints are ignored and defective or dangerous products are not recalled, manufacturers could face class action lawsuits and be ordered to pay injured consumers punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.