California readers may be aware of the debate over the safety of the ubiquitous red plastic gas cans that we all use to fill our lawn equipment or refuel our recreational vehicles. Blitz USA is the primary manufacturer of these cans, and estimates suggest that the company controls as much as 75 percent of the market for this product. The cans can be purchased at a wide range of retailers across the nation, and are in the homes and garages of millions of Americans. They have also been the subject of a multitude of product liability lawsuits.
Consumer safety advocates claim that the gas cans lack a basic safety feature that could prevent injuries caused when the contents of the can explode. Such explosions can occur when gas fumes present in the spout of the can ignite, leading to a fire that reaches into the body of the vessel. These fires can result at any time when the can is near a heat source.