Spectrum Brands’ Repel insect repellant citronella candles suffer from a defect that can cause the product to explode and inflict serious injuries when extinguished, a proposed class action alleges.
The 13-page lawsuit out of California federal court alleges the defendant’s citronella candles, sold by Walmart, Target, Home Depot and other retailers, cannot be used in the way in which a reasonable consumer would expect an insect-repelling candle to operate.
“Because of the faulty safety features, consumers who have purchased the Class Products are in possession of a very dangerous candle that can explode and cause injury when extinguished,” the case says. “The claims are evidenced by the hundreds (if not thousands) of consumer complaints on the Internet.”
The plaintiff, who’s described in the suit as an avid camper, claims the defendant’s citronella candle exploded upon his attempt to extinguish the candle in a manner in which a reasonable consumer would do so. The plaintiff says he suffered burns all over his face due to the hot wax and chemicals sprayed by the candle explosion and incurred medical bills related to his injuries.
As the lawsuit tells it, the defendant’s Repel citronella candles “are dangerous as sold and are a safety danger to all consumers.” The case alleges violations of the federal Magnuson-Moss warranty act and California’s Unfair Competition Law, as well as a breach of express warranties.
In August 2019, Spectrum Brands was named as the defendant in a proposed class action that alleged the company’s Hot Rollers product could heat up to “unreasonably unsafe” temperatures, posing a legitimate burn risk to users. That case continues to work its way through the legal system.
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