CPSC

  • Product recalls occur more often then the general public is aware of. Many of them are caught before the product is distributed, while others are released with no regard whatsoever. Below are 3 of the most bizarre product recalls.
  • In 2002, Uncle Mike’s Glock holster was created with a defect. Its retention strap would shift out of position and pull the trigger when the gun was removed.
  • The Colbra Corporation launched a small 16 oz fire extinguisher called the Fire Cap. Rather than snuffing out fires, its spray would make smaller fires bigger. It had the exact opposite effect.
  • The London based consumer-goods company, Unilever developed a new “revolutionary” detergent called Persil Power. Rather than cleaning your laundry, it bleached clothes entirely and tore them to shreds.

Every now and then you’ll come across a product that behaved quite differently than was expected. Perhaps it actually operated in the complete opposite manner and it left you scratching your head.

Well, the following 3 products did just that, and it wasn’t just a freak accident. Either a design flaw or an oversight in the product’s chemical properties caused these items to be adjusted or recalled immediately.

The Gun Holster That Went Bang

A 2002 version of a gun holster created by Uncle Mike’s for Glock handguns did the exact opposite of what a holster is supposed to do. A gun holster allows you to keep your gun securely on your person and out of harm’s way.

However, Uncle Mike’s Glock holster actually had the capability to fire a gun off as it was being removed. With the way the holster was designed, the retention strap would very often shift out of position and pull the gun’s trigger rather than let you safely remove it.

Once news started to circulate about three separate incidents in which the holster was responsible for discharging on its own, the manufacturer knew something had to be done. But instead of recalling the product outright, they released it with a wider strap that customers could install themselves.

A Fire Extinguisher That Started Fires

During the 1990s, Colbra Corporation launched a product called Fire Cap. It was a small 16 oz bottle, roughly the size of a can of moose or other hair products, that targeted small contained fires such as ones on your stove or trash can.

The convenience of the product led to it being sold all over the world and was even endorsed by the entire Jackson, Mississippi fire department.

However, the Fire Cap fire extinguisher didn’t extinguish anything other than the money that consumer’s used to purchase the product. According to recall documentation, the Fire Cap would actually make small fires worse when deployed. Rather than minimizing the flames they only got bigger.

Laundry Detergent That Destroyed Clothes

Unilever is a consumer goods company based in London and responsible for one of the most popular laundry detergents heading into the 1990s. But other companies were gaining ground and they had to act quickly in order to stay ahead of the competition.

They released a new “revolutionary” high-concentrated detergent called Persil Power, which touted itself as the latest and greatest in washing solution technology. It was supposed to wipe the dirt from your clothes right off the face of the earth. It most certainly did, and so much more.

The chemical compound in Persil Power was so powerful it left clothes bleached and torn to shreds. The washing powder not only eliminated the dirt and stains from clothes, but it also obliterated their color and fabric completely.

The problem with the product came during the testing phase. Persil Power was used on tough, sturdy types of fabric that could withstand the strong effects of the liquid. Standard fabric made for everyday wear was much more delicate and frail and could not handle the abuse.

Facing lawsuits from both retailers and customers, Unilever finally recalled their detergent and lost 250 million pounds in the process.