A Hyde Park woman and other purchasers of expensive Blendtec blenders say that far from being marble-crushing, skeleton-destroying marvels of modern engineering, the gizmos are actually pretty fragile contrivances that quickly fall apart, leaking their contents and belching smoke and spitting "deteriorated rubber, silicone, and/or plastic" into whatever they're blending before they stop working completely.
In their suit, filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Shelly Isaac of Hyde Park and two West Coast residents hope to be designated as lead plaintiffs in a class-action suit against Blendtec, Inc. of Orem, Utah.
The three say the problem is not the motor in the base of the blenders, but the proprietary "jars" that Blendtech sells that contain the blades and mechanism that moves the power to make the blades whirl through what consumers put in them to blend.
The Defect results from the use of wholly inadequate and incompatible materials used in the Jar's Blade Assembly.
Specifically, the Jar utilizes an inadequate, weak and ineffective seal in its Blade Assembly which causes the Jar's seal to degrade, leak, and ultimately fail.
The Jar's ball bearing and its lubricant are likewise inadequate and incompatible for use in the Blender, causing premature deterioration of the bearing.
When the seal fails, liquid leaks into the ball bearing, which causes further degradation of the plastic and lubricant surrounding the bearing.
The Defect manifests in a variety of ways which are easily observed by the consumer. When the seal fails, the Jar leaks its contents from the bottom of the Jar and into the base's drive socket. Once the ball bearing fails, consumers may observe the degraded pieces of the bearing and/or the seal in the Jar, in addition to smoke, loud grinding noises, vibration and eventual failure of the Blade Assembly.
Upon information and belief, this Defect is a safety hazard to the consumers who have purchased the Blenders, as they are at risk of ingesting deteriorated rubber, silicone, and/or plastic through food and beverages blended in the Jars.
The suit charges the company has known about the problem for seven years and has done nothing about it. Consumers who complain are sent new "jars" with the same defect, it alleges.
Isaac says that on May 8, 2017, she used a Groupon coupon to buy a Blendtec Classic 570 Blender with a WildSide+ Jar for $229,99, down from the usual retail proces of $399.95.
Within the first year of owning the Blender, Plaintiff Isaac used it occasionally. However, even despite her infrequent use, the Blender began to make a loud grinding noise when used according to the manual's instructions.
Plaintiff Isaac reached out to Blendtec by phone in summer of 2018, and Blendtec asked Plaintiff to run the Blender so that they could troubleshoot the issue by phone. After diagnosing the Blender as defective, Blendtec replaced Plaintiff Isaac's Blender with an upgraded, refurbished Classic 575 model with a WildSide+ Jar.
Despite replacing both the base and the Jar, in 2020, less than two years later Plaintiff Isaac's Blender once again began to make a loud grinding noise during normal use. 83. Due to this malfunction, Plaintiff Isaac was concerned that her Blender would fail entirely with continued use, and therefore has discontinued using her Blender.
If Plaintiff Isaac had been aware that the Jar contained a Defect that would cause it to make a loud, grinding noise during use, she would not have purchased the Blender. Therefore, she did not receive the benefit of her bargain.
Despite their problems, the three initial plaintiffs say they would still buy another Blendtech blender - if they could be assured the problems are fixed, which they hope to force by getting a jury to award them and other purchases and their lawyers damages and penalties for the alleged violations of their warranties and contracts and their rights under the consumer-protection laws of Massachusetts, California and Washington state.