Gree has announced an expansion of a September 2013 recall to include more than 2.5 million of its dehumidifiers in the U.S. and Canada, but apparently many customers didn't heed the warning.
In response to a jump from 119 to 471 incident reports following the company’s original recall and a total $4.5 million in fire-related property damage, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission repeated the announcement of the January 2014 recall to customers Thursday. (Find the full list of recalled items here.)
“The number of reported incidents of overheating dehumidifiers has increased nearly 400 percent,” reported the CPSC, adding that fires related to the recalled electrical items had also noticeably surged. “The number of reported fires has increased more than 200 percent from 46 to 121 reported fires. Property damage reports have more than doubled.”
According to the CPSC, models sold under popular brands, including Frigidaire, GE and Kenmore, created by the Chinese manufacturer are included in the recall due to potential fire-related defects. “The dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke and catch fire, posing fire and burn hazards to customers,” the CPSC confirmed.
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Customers affected by the recall are advised to unplug and immediately discontinue the use of defective dehumidifiers. The items, sold by retail locations in the U.S. and Canada including Home Depot, Kmart, Loews, Sears, Wal-Mart from January 2005 through August 2013, ranged in price from $110 to $400.
To receive a refund or more recall information, Gree customer service can be contacted by calling (866) 853-2802 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Customers can also contact Gree online by visiting GreeUSA.com.
Gree, in collaboration with the CPSC, first announced a recall for 2.2 million of the products in the U.S. and 52,500 in Canada in September. At the time of the initial recall, 325 incidents, 71 fires and a total of $2,725,000 in property damage had occurred. The CPSC released an expansion for the recall in January to include an additional 350,000 units in the U.S. and 2,700 in Canada.