July 12, 2014

Recall: Kaz USA Recalls Honeywell Portable Electric Heaters Due to Burn Hazard

Name of Product: Honeywell Surround Select Portable Electric Heaters

Units: About 19,000

Distributor: Kaz USA Inc., of Southborough, Mass.

Manufacturer: Ningbo SMAL Electrics Co. Ltd., of China

Hazard: The heater’s internal housing, including the fan, heating element and circuitry, can detach, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Description: This recall includes Honeywell Surround Select Series portable electric heaters with model numbers HZ-420, HZ-430, and HZ-440 and five-digit date codes that have 11 as the last two digits. The heaters are black or white cylinders with a handle on top. The model number is stamped into the plastic on the bottom of the heater. The date code is located on the metal prongs of the heater’s electrical plug. “Honeywell” and “Surround Heat” are printed on the front of the heaters. This heater was distributed by Kaz USA under license from Honeywell.

Sold at: Best Buy, Meijer and Walmart stores nationwide from July 2011 through December 2011 for between $50 and $70.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately unplug and stop using the heaters and contact Kaz for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Kaz at (800) 370-8137 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.kaz.com/recall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell them about your experience with the product on www.saferproducts.gov

 

Check Your Cart at Sears.com

Is Sears.com tacking on added purchases without your consent? Automatically adding on a service package is up-selling and Sears.com may have been doing just that.

Edgar Dworsky, a nationally-respected consumer advocate and founder of the website ConsumerWorld.org, says he went on the site on Black Friday weekend looking for a refrigerator. He found a model he liked, put it in his cart and noticed that a five-year service contract for $469 had been added without his consent.

Dworsky points out that the charge for the service plan is easily removed from the cart if the customer spots it. If not, they could overpay from $110 to $550.

“How many shoppers have in their mind, ‘Oh, I’d better check the cart just to make sure they haven’t slipped something in there that I didn’t order?’”

Dworsky shopped for various appliances on Sears.com and he says the same thing happened every time: an expensive five-year extended warranty turned up in the shopping cart.

After Mr. Dworsky contacted Larry Costello, Sears’ public relations director, who says the company has received “very little negative customer feedback” about its up-sell policy,the company says it will change the way its website operates. Sears will now make their extended warranties an optional add-on, just as other major appliance sellers do.

Frigidaire Gets Most Efficient Label for Washers

“ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” is a new EPA program designed to identify and advance highly efficient products in the marketplace. The effort will call out the most efficient products among those that qualify for the ENERGY STAR in particular product categories.

Frigidaire offers eco-friendly washers that use up to 82% less energy and 60% less water than washers from just ten years ago. Plus, the Energy Saver Option further reduces energy use up to 60%.

Many Frigidaire washers have been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as three of the most efficient ENERGY STAR washers on the market. Look for the certification on most of the Affinity models.

Frigidaire’s new collections of kitchen and laundry appliances include ENERGY STAR qualified appliances in every product category, where applicable, offering a variety of appliances that are from 10% to 80% more energy-efficient than non-ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. The line features washers that use up to 82% less energy and 60% less water along with refrigerators and freezers that use at least 10% less energy and dishwashers that use at least 41% less energy and 40% less water than was used just 10 years ago.

Kenmore Announces New Laundry Pair

Kenmore has added a new steam washer and dryer to its laundry line-up, the Kenmore Elite 4.3-cubic foot Front Load HE Steam Washer and the matching Kenmore Elite 7.4-cubic foot Steam Dryer.

The Kenmore Elite® 4.3 cubic foot Front Load HE Steam Washer and the matching Kenmore Elite 7.4 cubic foot Steam Dryer bring technology and convenience to the laundry room. Additionally, the washer has been awarded the ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient designation in 2011.

      In only 20 minutes, the Steam Refresh technology (dryer models only) gently refreshes clothes by relaxing wrinkles eliminating the need for ironing or re-washing

Wash a load in just 26 minutes using Express Wash, and dry a load in 30 minutes using Express Dry

Features Smart Motion Technology with cycle selection that provides the right amount of cleaning and care

Large capacities of 4.3 cubic foot washer and 7.4 cubic foot dryer to accommodate super king-sized loads, saving both time and energy without sacrificing performance

The washer uses 71 percent less water and 63 percent less energy than a conventional top-load washer manufactured prior to 2004

Features Kenmore Connect, a functionality that sends customers’ real-time diagnostic information directly from the washer or dryer over the phone to highly-trained service experts who answer questions, suggest solutions, or provide instructions to help keep the appliance running properly

The washer and electric dryer in white are $1,199 per unit and $1,299 in color finishes. Gas dryers are slightly more expensive.

Kenmore Debuts Two New Kitchen Appliances

Kenmore has announced two new additions to its kitchen appliance offerings, the Kenmore Elite Double Oven Free Standing Range and the Kenmore Elite Trio 31-cubic foot Refrigerator with Grab-N-Go™ Door.

The Kenmore Elite Double Oven has two, 3.5-cubic foot ovens that perform equally and independently. Main dishes, such as full-sized turkeys or hams, can cook at the same time in separate ovens and at different temperatures for greater cooking convenience and versatility.

Each oven features true convection to provide maximum air movement and to deliver more even cooking throughout the oven. Additionally, Electric Turbo Boil technology rapidly brings pots to boil quicker than any other leading freestanding range brand (Compared against leading freestanding range competitors.)

The new double oven is available in white and black at $1,899 for model 97512/9 and $1,999 for model 97513.

The Kenmore Elite Trio Refrigerator with Grab-N-Go Door keeps users’ most-often-used items within reach. With the most storage space of any Kenmore refrigerator available (Based on capacity measured through AHAM Standards; storage space measured through Kenmore Brand Standards and among leading brands with capacities measured using AHAM standards.), this 31 cubic foot model has a separate compartment accessed with a simple push of a button. Removing the need to open both refrigerator doors and letting cold air escape, the Grab-N-Go Door is accessible via the exterior door and is best used for items such as snacks, drinks, leftovers.

The model’s integrated water dispenser virtually disappears into the door and is large enough to fill tall items like pitchers, coffee pots and water bottles. As an enhanced version of the recently released Kenmore Elite Trio Signature Refrigerator, this model is currently scheduled for national availability at Sears in January 2012.

Energy Star’s New Most Efficient Designation

It seems that every appliance in the stores these days has qualified for the Energy Star label. A look around the local appliance store is dotted with the ubiquitous bright yellow tags.

Energy Star, in an effort to improve the system – everything can’t be the BEST – has added a “Most Efficient” designation to their listings.

“This new designation will help Americans save money and cut pollution by quickly pointing them to the best Energy Star products have to offer. Highlighting Energy Star’s Most Efficient products is a great way to encourage the strides in innovation that bring even more energy and money saving choices to our stores,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We know American consumers are eager to make purchases that save them money on their utility bills and reduce the pollution in the air we breathe, and these labels will help them identify the best ways to find those purchases.”

Products that receive the Most Efficient designation demonstrate exceptional and cutting-edge efficiency performance. The Most Efficient recognition will represent approximately the top five percent of models on the market in the following categories: clothes washers, heating and cooling equipment, televisions, and refrigerator-freezers. The following Energy Star partners’ products are among the first to be recognized as Most Efficient: Electrolux Major Appliances, Sears’ Kenmore, LG, Samsung, Best Buy’s Insignia Brand, Panasonic, Nordyne, and Rheem. Later this year, EPA will initiate a process to consider additional product categories for potential inclusion in 2012.

Consumers will be able to identify Most Efficient products on the Energy Star website and in stores by looking for the Most Efficient designation. In addition to meeting established performance requirements, products must also be Energy Star qualified and certified by an EPA-recognized certification body. Manufacturers are encouraged to submit products that meet the requirements to EPA for recognition.

More information on Energy Star’s Most Efficient products: http://www.energystar.gov/mostefficient

Recall: Select Chefmate Blenders Due to Laceration Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Chefmate® 6-Speed Blender

Units: About 304,000

Importer: Target Corporation, of Minneapolis

Manufacturer: Select Brands, of Lenaxa, Kan.

Hazard: While in operation, the plastic pitcher can separate from the blade assembly, leaving the blade assembly in the base and exposing the rotating blades. This poses a laceration hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Target and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have received 11 reports of the blade assembly separating from the pitcher, seven of which reported serious lacerations to consumers’ fingers and hands.

Description: This recall affects all Chefmate® 6-Speed Blenders, model BL-10. The model number is located on the bottom of the base. The blender consists of a six-inch tall, white electrical base with five, white speed-selector buttons labeled 1 through 5, one gray button labeled “Pulse/Off” and the word “Chefmate®” in black letters on the front; a clear plastic pitcher with a handle with U.S. and metric volume measurement markings; a white plastic lid with a removable clear plastic lid stopper; and a white plastic blade assembly with two angled, stainless steel blades.

Sold exclusively at: Target stores nationwide from September 2007 to February 2011 for about $14.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the blenders and return them to any Target store to receive a full refund.

Consumer Contact:
For additional information, contact Target Guest Relations at (800) 440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit their website at www.target.com

blender

Recall: Goldstar and Comfort-Aire Dehumidifiers by LG Electronics

LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is urging consumers to check if they have recalled Goldstar or Comfort-Aire dehumidifiers. The firm is re-announcing the recall of about 98,000 of the dangerous dehumidifiers that pose a serious fire and burn hazard, and are believed to be responsible for more than one million dollars in property damage.

The power connector for the dehumidifier’s compressor can short circuit, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers and their property.

The dehumidifiers were first recalled in December 2009 following eleven incidents, including four significant fires. Since that time, the company has received sixteen additional incident reports of arcing, smoke and fire associated with the dehumidifiers, including nine significant fires. No injuries have been reported. Fires are reported to have caused more than $1 million in property damage including:

$500,000 in damage to a home in Gibsonia, Pa.
$200,000 in damage to a home in New Brighton, Minn.
$183,000 in damage to a home in Hudson, Mass.
$192,000 in damage to a home in Valparaiso, Ind.
$139,000 in damage to a home in Salem, Ohio
$129,000 in damage to a home in Brielle, N.J.
$ 95,000 in damage to a home in Philadelphia, Pa.

Because of the severity of the risks, CPSC and LG Electronics are concerned with the lack of consumer response to the recall. Only two percent of the 98,000 consumers who purchased these units have received a free repair, which means that consumers and their property remain at serious risk.

Anyone who has the recalled dehumidifiers is strongly encouraged to immediately stop using them, unplug them, and contact LG Electronics for the free repair.

The recall involves the 30 pint portable dehumidifiers sold under the Goldstar and Comfort-Aire brands. The dehumidifiers are white with a red shut-off button, controls for fan speed and humidity control, and a front-loading water bucket. “Goldstar” or “Comfort-Aire” is printed on the front. Model and serial number ranges included in this recall are listed in the table below. The model and serial numbers are located on the interior of the dehumidifier, and can be seen when the water bucket is removed.

Brand Model No. Serial Number Range Sold at
Goldstar GHD30Y7 611TAxx00001 through 08400
611TAxx08401 through 40600
612TAxx00001 through 20400
612TAxx21001 through 30600 Home Depot

Brand Model No. Serial Number Range Sold at
Goldstar DH305Y7 612TAxx00001 through 00600
701TAxx00001 through 16800
702TAxx00001 through 03000 Walmart

Brand Model No. Serial Number Range Sold at
Comfort-Aire BHD-301-C 611TA000001 through 001697
612TA000001 through 004200
701TA000001 through 000578
710TA000001 through 000599 Various retailers, including Ace
Hardware, Do It Best and Orgill Inc.

The recalled dehumidifiers were sold at The Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Do It Best, Orgill Inc., and other retailers nationwide from January 2007 through June 2008 for between $140 and $150. They were manufactured in China.

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