Serious injuries including paralysis have triggered the recall of roughly 15,000 units of weightlifting equipment that were produced for about 20 years by a southern Minnesota company.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Wednesday announced the recall of the Cybex Smith Press, a plate-loaded weightlifting piece of equipment that is used primarily in fitness facilities.

Its manufacturer and distributor, Owatonna-based Cybex International, said it has received 27 reports of injuries, including paralysis and spinal fracture after the weight bar unexpectedly fell on the user.

CPSC spokeswoman Elizabeth Klinefelter declined Thursday to disclose any further details about the injuries or which fitness facilities might still have the equipment available to their clients.

A spokeswoman for Cybex’s parent company, Illinois-based Life Fitness, Judith Toland, said company “representatives are working diligently with clubs to coordinate on-site visits to repair the affected units as soon as possible.”

The CPSC is directing consumers to stop using the equipment and contact Cybex for instructions on how to receive a free repair for model 5341 or a credit or refund of the depreciated value for model 5340. The models ranged in price from $1,000 and $3,400 each.

Model 5340 was made and distributed from 1989 through 1993, while model 5341 followed from 1993 through 2009. The model number is printed on the base of the frame.

Both models have a weight bar placed between two parallel vertical tracks on latch pins. The bar moves up and down for upper- and lower-body workouts. The bar was sold with the Smith Press, while the weights were sold separately.

The company can be contacted by calling 1-877-423-3253 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CDT Monday through Friday or online at and click on “Support” for more information.

Also, the company said it is reaching out to purchasers of the equipment.