Spectrum Brands' Remington Hot Rollers are at the center of a class action that claims the hairstyling product is defective in that it can heat up to unreasonably dangerous temperatures, posing a burn risk.
Two plaintiffs allege in a proposed class action filed against Spectrum Brands, Inc. that the company’s Remington Hot Rollers suffer from a defect that allows the hairstyling product to heat up to “unreasonably unsafe temperatures” when operated as instructed.
Initially filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, the lawsuit, which now resides in district court, explains that the hair rollers are advertised by Spectrum Brands as equipped with a thermal wax core that allows the rollers to retain high heat for longer, creating “long lasting curls and volume.” The product, which comes with 20 “velvety” rollers resting on a metallic base, is also touted by Spectrum Brands as having plastic “Cool Touch Ends” designed for “safe and comfortable use” and to protect users against the thermal wax core heating element in each roller, according to the case.
As the plaintiffs tell it, however, the defendant’s Hot Rollers suffer from a latent defect allows the product to heat up to unreasonably dangerous temperatures. According to the suit, this flaw is coupled with another that allows users’ skin to come into contact with the hot plastic end of the roller and the metal underneath the plastic end cap that can detach from the roller itself during normal use. Spectrum Brand’s so-called “Cool Touch Ends” heat up to a 187 degrees Fahrenheit, the case claims, far too hot to be used when curling hair with a bare hand.
The case stresses that consumers are likely unaware of the alleged dangers posed by the rollers. From the complaint:
“No warning or instruction in the Hot Roller Use and Care Guide exists to warn a consumer that the plastic end caps may detach from the rollers; that they must use caution when using the rollers if the plastic end caps are loose and/or detached; and/or that the consumer should avoid contact with the plastic end caps when they detach and also the metallic portion of the roller in the event the plastic end caps detach from the roller."
The complaint goes on to claim that the Hot Rollers can be come hot enough that their temperature exceeds the allowable surface temperature for consumer goods set by the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM), the organization tasked with standardizing “the determination of acceptable surface operating conditions for heated systems.” The ASTM Standard warns against skin contact with any metal “that exceeds 44 degrees Celsius or 111 degrees Fahrenheit,” the lawsuit states. Moreover, the case points out that the UL standard 859 concerning household electric personal grooming appliances sets the maximum temperature limit for “molded material that is intended to be grasped and held by a bare hand” at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spectrum Brands has known about the high-temperature Hot Roller defect for years, the plaintiffs allege. The consumers, who both say they experienced burns caused by the defendant’s product, argue that they would not have bought the Remington Hot Rollers had they known of the “substantial risk of burns.”