DANBURY, Conn.-First Brands Corp. voluntarily pulled its STP brand flat tire repair product from the market Jan. 27 because of a potential hazard to technicians repairing tires containing the substance. The sealant-type aerosol inflator, marketed as STP Flat Fixer and STP Flat Tire Repair, is being taken off the shelves and recalled from consumers for a full refund, said Mark Haglund, STP vice president of automotive products marketing.
``Recent developments have led us to believe that under certain circumstances the product has the potential to cause serious personal injury to those who attempt to make a permanent repair on an inflated tire with STP Flat Tire Repair in it,'' he said.
A company spokesman declined further comment on why STP recalled the product and would not classify the product as ``flammable'' or ``nonflammable.
The company said it has sold about 2.8 million units of the product in the U.S. since February 1992.
A spokeswoman for IQ Products Co. in Houston, maker of STP Flat Fixer, said the company does not market the product under any other name and referred questions to STP.
Some tire inflators use flammable gas mixtures including propane, butane or isobutane to force a sealant into a tire for a temporary flat repair. Sealant-type inflators containing flammable mixtures have been criticized for their potential to explode within a tire while it is being repaired.
Other inflators, which most companies agree are more expensive to produce, use less flammable chlorofluorocarbons, which are being phased out because they are said to damage the ozone layer.
STP's decision to pull its product from the market has not prompted other firms to follow suit.
Newark, N.J.-based Jetgo Auto Products Inc., maker of Jetgo Flat Aid, is always interested in creating better, safer products, said Corporate Secretary Peter Cooper. But the firm doesn't intend to pull its flammable repair product from the market even though it has been exploring nonflammable alternatives.
``Frankly, I think the whole issue of the tire inflator has been blown out of proportion,'' he said.
Chicago-based Gold Eagle Co. produces the flammable sealants Super Heavy Duty Air & Repair, Economy Air & Repair and Air & Repair Tire Inflator & Sealant, and the nonflammable Quantum Tire Inflator-all of which will remain on the market, a company spokeswoman said.
A spokesman for Technical Chemical Co. in Dallas, maker of flammable and nonflammable Johnsen's Quick Flat Fix, said it has no plans to remove any of its products from the market.