Home Fires Continue After Dehumidifier Recall Nets 2% Response Rate
Sep 15, 2011
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Three models of Goldstar and Comfort-Aire dehumidifiers from LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co. were the focus of a recall in December 2009, but only 2% of the 98,000 units have been repaired and 16 more fires have been reported.
LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance issued the original recall in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The company is now re-announcing the recall and the CPSC is urging consumers to check if they have one of the units in their home. The CPSC said the units are dangerous, posing a serious fire and burn hazard, and are believed to be responsible for more than $1 million dollars in property damage.
CPSC said the power connector for the dehumidifier’s compressor can short circuit, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers and their property.
Reports of 11 incidents, including four "significant fires," prompted the original recall in 2009. Since then only about 2,000 units have received the free repair.
Since then 16 more reports of incidents have been received, including reports of nine significant fires. No injuries were reported. The CPSC said damage suspected to have been caused by the dehumidifiers include:
• $500,000 in damage to a home in Gibsonia, PA
• $200,000 in damage to a home in New Brighton, MN
• $183,000 in damage to a home in Hudson, MA
• $192,000 in damage to a home in Valparaiso, IN
• $139,000 in damage to a home in Salem, OH
• $129,000 in damage to a home in Brielle, NJ
• $95,000 in damage to a home in Philadelphia, PA
With so many faulty units still in-use, the CPSC said, "consumers and their property remain at serious risk."
The CPSC said anyone with the recalled dehumidifier should immediately stop using them, unplug them, and contact LG Electronics for the free repair.
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