I just received a refurbished 5200 directly from Vita-mix today.
When making the decision between brand new and refurbished, I asked if the refurbished container would be the BPA-free one (I honestly don't know if BPA at normal temperatures is an issue or not but better safe than sorry).
The answer I received was "Yes" and that the refurbished machines were ones that individuals purchased and returned within the 30 day trial window.
I was just looking at some of the literature that came in the box and there's something about a "New and Improved Container Lid" (latching w/ flap) and that the old flapless lid is "not compatible with your new 64oz container".
This makes me wonder what kind of container I received.
Mine has the rubberized handle (looks like the 5000 container has a bare handle). Doesn't say anything about Tritan, Eastman, or BPA. The recycle symbol at the bottom of the container reads "other" (guess that's #7).
Anyone received a new 5200 recently w/ the flapped latching lid? And does your container have any reference to BPA or any other identifying markings?
I used it briefly this evening to make some Almond Mylk and have everything lined up for a mango/banana/orange/spinach/cacao/maca/hemp seed oil/goji/sea salt smoothie tomorrow morning :)
My container looks more or less like this except the metal base holding the blade is black vs. white and it's got the different lid. The two 64oz replacements they list look exactly the same to me - one for the polycarbonate container and the other for the Tritan - non BPA - container. That's obviously not correct - or it's a bad angle - because you can clearly see the latch on the first container link.
You can see the recycle symbol (at least on my container) by peaking down into the canister at the bottom of the container (you might have to rotate the blade to get it out of the way). If you hold the canister with the spout towards you (6 o'clock) and the handle away from you (12 o'clock), the recycle symbol is @ about 2:30 - it's on the small side but it's the familiar triangle w/ 3 arrows chasing each other - to add to the confusion, you're viewing it upside down (you'd have to remove the blade to see it correctly from the bottom). There doesn't appear to be any number inside the triangle but I can make out "other" right under the triangle (albeit with the characters backwards).
I'll give VM Customer Service a call sometime tomorrow and report back.
1. how many refurbished vitamix 5200 blenders can the factory possibly have? In my opinion, this raises some suspicion. Either way a lot of customers are returning the blender or Vitamix can't sell them enough and therefore designates new ones as refurbished. In the second case they could get into trouble with Costco for breach of contract if they found out (price compete issue). And in the first case, why are so many people returning this 5200 vitamix blender model? What is wrong with it?
2. The BPA-Free Issue is a deep one that needs to be really discussed. I received a call from a Harvard University Scientist, a man who researches food stuffs interacting with plastic containers such as polycarbonate. He told me and raised some smart questions about it, that we do not have enough history on the usage of polycarbonate and far less even on co-polyester (BPA-Free material) to come up with a valid research data. He said that we might know more in 20 to 30 years or more. And while Polycarbonate is definitely made with Bisphenol A (BPA), there is no evidence of leeching with blender containers. And then the co-polyester material components, although BPA is not one of them, there are unknowns about the other components whether they are potentially hazardous.
And you should also know, (by the way, look for the MSDS data on Co-Polyester containers / material on Bayer Chemical Company...), Bayer tests its products for food safety. They boil the material at 220 degree Fahrenheit for 10 hours. Then a week later they take the same material (then more likely defective due to the heat and length of boiled in that heat that no consumer reaches in a blender under normal blending conditions), they cook the material again at about 105 degree F for an extended period of time. They then take the sample mass and test it for harmful components.... The PPM components are still below the dangerous amount... Of course, we don't want any dangerous amount in our food, right? But my point is, there are far too many unknowns. Who knows, maybe in 30 years we will discover that we should have stayed with polycarbonate containers and not switched to the co-polyester ones. I don't know, and nobody else does either... It's all a speculation. Sorry... But don't quote me...
Perhaps the reason they sell so many refurbished Vitamax blenders is because they are so expensive. I am certain many of those impulse buyers at their live demos decide to return it the next day. Or later realize they should not have spent $500 on a blender no matter how good it is.
Once a product is returned it can not be sold as new and must be sold refurbished.
Does anyone know whether it's the Vitamix or the Blendtec for which you can order a replacement stainless steel container? I agree with what Thomas said and so if it can't be glass, then I'd settle for stainless steel.