What is The FPE Stab-Lok Hazard
Federal Pacific Electric (FPE Stab-Lok®) was a widely-distributed electrical panel brand throughout the United States and under the Federal Pioneer brand, also in Canada very similar product continues to be sold. For years, anecdotes and field reports about FPE Stab-Lok® hazards and defects have been discussed at professional conferences and occasionally in the media. Field reports of recalls, poor and even fraudulent manufacturing & labeling, house fires,and injuries have been reported attributed to this product. Independent testing confirms that FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breakers fail to trip, at times as much as 70-80 percent of the time. We have found no data indicating that circuit breakers from other manufacturers fail at anywhere near this high rate. The equipment is a fire and injury hazard.
Fraudulent FPE Stab-Lok®practice: In 2002, in a class action lawsuit in New Jersey, the Court ruled that over many years FPE had violated the NY Consumer Fraud Act. Specifically, the court found that "... FPE knowingly and purposefully distributed circuit breakers which were not tested to meet UL standards as indicated on their label. This constitutes an unlawful practice proscribed by the Act. The court's decision, which was based on extensive evidence that included FPE's own documents, confirmed long-standing allegations of FPE's fraudulent testing practices.
High FPE Stab-Lok® failure rates: Despite FPE's fraudulent testing and falsified UL labeling, defective FPE Stab-Loc circuit breakers were installed in millions of residences throughout the United States. Tests on more than 500 Stab-Lok breakers from homes across the country show defective performance for about 1/3 of the two-pole FPE Stab-Loc circuit breakers and about 1/5 of the single-pole FPE Stab-Loc circuit breakers in those tests. Most recent FPE Stab-Lok testing of 830 breakers from a New Jersey condominium found failures to trip on response to overcurrent in up to 70% of cases where 2-pole breakers were installed. 80% failure rate has been demonstrated on GFCI breakers, and 100% failures to trip occur on jammed 2-pole breakers experiencing a second overcurrent event.