GE Dishwashers Recalled for Sparking Electrical Fires

House fireThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (http://www.cpsc.gov/) and the General Electric Company (GE) have jointly announced a safety recall of 1.3 million dishwashers for potential electrical failures. The affected appliances were manufactured and sold in the United States. The dishwashers are to blame for seven fires, some of which caused severe property damage.

GE, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is cooperating with the recall that affects dishwashers sold nationwide from March 2006 to August 2009. Authorized dealers and stores in the U.S. sold the dishwashers. The affected brand names are GE, GE Adora™, GE Eterna™, GE Profile™ and Hotpoint®. The dishwashers have their controls on the front, which have plastic tubs instead of the traditional metal ones. Their exterior colors and finishes are black, white, bisque, stainless steel or CleanSteel™.

According to the CPSC, “An electrical failure in the dishwasher’s heating element can pose a fire hazard.” The CPSC stated that 15 of the dishwashers were reported with heating element failures. Seven incidents resulted in fires with three causing extensive property damage. There have been no reports of injuries to date.

Consumer Information

Model numbers of the recalled dishwashers can be found inside the machines, on metallic plates fastened to the left tub walls. Both GE and the CPSC warn that consumers should stop using the recalled dishwashers immediately. Consumers should also warn all household members of the potential risk of fire if the dishwashers are used. For more safety, they should disconnect the electrical supply using either fuse or circuit breaker.

Recalled dishwashers should not be returned to the retailers or dealers where they were purchased. Consumers and appliance dealers should be aware that it is illegal to sell or resell a recalled consumer product.

GE has provided two options to consumers to address the problem. First, GE is providing a free service call to allow its technicians to install a GE repair kit. Alternatively, GE is offering consumers several rebates on new GE appliances.

Consumers can use a $75 rebate toward the purchase of a new GE front-control plastic tub dishwasher. There is also a $100 rebate available to use toward the purchase of a new GE front-control stainless steel tub dishwasher or a new GE Profile top-control dishwasher. Consumers should contact GE to determine their eligibility.

According to the CPSC, death, injury and property damage from unsafe products cost the U.S. more than $900 billion annually. This government organization is charged with ensuring the safety of consumer products sold in the United States. It relies partly on consumer incident or injury reports it collects through its consumer Web site: www.saferproducts.gov.

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