October 26, 2014

Viking Range Corporation Agrees to $450,000 Civil Penalty for Failing to Report Defective Refrigerators

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Viking Range Corporation, of Greenwood, Miss., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $450,000. The penalty agreement has been provisionally accepted by the Commission.

The settlement resolves CPSC staff allegations that Viking Range Corporation was aware for years of a defect involving its refrigerator door hinge support mechanisms that resulted in incidents and injuries to consumers; yet the firm failed to report immediately to CPSC as required by federal law. Viking reported the safety defect to the Commission in April 2009, and the firm agreed to a recall in June 2009. Subsequent investigation conducted by CPSC staff uncovered that by that time the firm was aware of at least 10 reports of injuries involving Viking refrigerator hinge failures going back over several years.

CPSC and Viking Range Corporation announced a recall of more than 45,000 Viking refrigerators in June 2009. The hazard identified with the refrigerators is that refrigerator hinges and hardware that attach the doors to the refrigerator box can loosen, sag and detach, posing an impact injury hazard to consumers if the door detaches. Viking sold the refrigerators through appliance and specialty retailers from July 1999 through April 2006.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report to CPSC within 24 hours after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation, standard or ban enforced by CPSC.

In agreeing to the settlement, Viking Range Corporation denies CPSC staff allegations as to the existence of a defect or hazard or that it violated the law.

Mom Can Win New Appliances

Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics retailer hhgregg (NYSE:HGG) announced that it will be celebrating Mother’s Day by inviting customers to enter its Frigidaire kitchen appliance package giveaway. From April 26th-May 5th, one contestant will be selected daily to receive $100 hhgregg gift card and all contestants will be registered for the chance to win the grand prize; a kitchen appliance package that includes a refrigerator, range, dishwasher and microwave.

hhgregg’s Mother’s Day giveaway will also support the heart health of moms everywhere. For each Facebook “like” hhgregg receives during this time frame, the company will donate $1 to The American Heart Association’s “My Heart. My Life” fund, up to $20,000. A minimum of $10,000 will be donated.

“We wanted to honor mothers everywhere this year by not only hosting an exciting giveaway, but by giving back to the American Heart Association, a wonderful organization that promotes healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said Jeff Pearson, Vice President of Marketing, hhgregg.

To register for the Mother’s Day Giveaway, please visit www.hhgregg.com/hhgives.

To “like” hhgregg on Facebook, and have $1 donated to The American Heart Association, please visit www.facebook.com/hhgreg

Aging in Place – Appliance Placement

If you are a retiree building a new home, you can plan your kitchen and laundry areas to accommodate your aging body. For those of us who plan to stay right where we are, some simple adjustments and purchases can make daily tasks easier.

So, let’s start with the easy ones, like the Washer & Dryer. Front loading models are very popular today, but bending over and getting inside for the very last sock can be a problem for those with mobility issues. Most brands, including Bosch, Whirlpool and Frigidaire make pedestals for all their newer models, and can retrofit them to older models.They range from 11″ to 17″, depending on the brand. The other solution is to pull the machines out, and have your contractor frame in a raised platform at just the right height for you, cover it with linoleum, and your washer and dryer will be much more accessible.

Another place to ‘right height’ appliances is in the kitchen. Here are more tips from HB Building and Design: One popular solution is a lowered cooktop with the controls on the front. If you have room to make this modification, and lower this part of the countertop with the adjacent required landing space, it really makes things easier for shorter people, or someone sitting in a wheelchair or using a walker.

The second kitchen appliance that should be considered is the refrigerator. A side-by-side refrigerator freezer is a much better choice, giving access to both the freezer and the refrigerator from a sitting position. In a more extensive remodel, a wall oven can be installed at a lower height as can the microwave oven.

A final consideration are countertops which should be smooth to allow you to slide rather than lift heavy pots and pans. Cabinets can also be prepared for someone with a progressive illness by specifying removable base cabinets for future wheelchair access.

Recall: Liebherr Built-In Refrigerators Due to Injury Hazard; Door Can Detach

Name of Product: Liebherr Built-In 30-Inch Wide Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Units: About 5,702 units

Importer: Liebherr-Canada Ltd of Ontario, of Canada

Manufacturer: Liebherr-Hausgeraete Lienz GmbH, of Austria

Hazard: The refrigerator’s door can detach, posing an injury hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Liebherr has received ten reports of doors detaching. No injuries reported.

Description: This recall involves Liebherr built-in 30-inch wide bottom freezer refrigerators with model and index numbers listed below. The refrigerators were sold individually or as side-by-side companion units. The refrigerators come in stainless steel and various custom finishes and are built into the kitchen cabinetry. “Liebherr” is written on the top interior control panel. The model number can be found on a label located behind the bottom drawer on the left interior side of the single door refrigerator.

Model Number Index Number
C 1600
16 / 137
16A / 137
C 1601
15 / 237
15A / 237
15B / 237
15F / 237
15G / 237
16 / 237
16A / 237
CI 1600
15G / 137
16 / 137
16A / 137
CI 1601
15 / 237
15A / 237
15B / 237
15F / 237
15G / 237
16 / 237
16A / 237
C 1650
15 / 137
15A / 137
15B / 137
15C / 137
15D / 137
15H / 137
15I / 137
16 / 137
16A / 137
16B / 137
C 1651
15A / 237
15B / 237
15C / 237
15D / 237
15H / 237
15I / 237
16 / 237
16A / 237
16B / 237
CI 1650
15 / 137
15A / 137
15B / 137
15C / 137
15D / 137
15H / 137
15I / 137
16 / 137
16A / 137
16B / 137
CI 1651
15A / 237
15B / 237
15C / 237
15D / 237
15H / 237
15I / 237
16 / 237
16A / 237
16B / 237
CI 1700
14A / 137

Sold by: Appliance and specialty retailers nationwide from February 2004 through January 2011 for between $4,400 and $5,000.

Manufactured in: Austria

Remedy: Consumers with recalled refrigerators should contact Liebherr immediately to schedule a free in-home repair. Consumers should check their refrigerator immediately to see whether the door hinge pin has become loose as indicated by a popped up hinge pin at the top or bottom. If the hinge has not become loose and the door is functioning properly, consumers may continue to use the refrigerator until it is repaired.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Liebherr toll-free at (877) 337-2653 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT or visit Liebherr’s website at www.liebherr.us

The Way to a Woman’s Heart is Through the Kitchen – Yours!

Hey guys – if your Valentine’s Day didn’t turn out as planned you may want to consider wooing your girl with a new kitchen.
The way to a woman’s heart is through your kitchen, according to the research by luxury appliance brand Thermador.

Its survey showed that 83 percent women fall for suitors with a luxury kitchen in their bachelor’s pad. Just 17 percent women go for guys with a fancy car in their garage.

Red convertibles may impress your friends, but they won’t make your Valentine’s heart race and cheeks flush like a top-of-the-line gourmet kitchen, said the luxury appliance maker on the findings of its survey.

In fact, 61 percent of women said a beautiful kitchen would better help them decide whether to ‘heat things up’ in a relationship than a romantic bedroom (38 percent ) or flashy garage (1 percent),” said the statement.

Steve Preiner, director of marketing for Thermador, said, ‘Not only is a well-designed and outfitted kitchen a great way to impress your date, it will also help strengthen your home’s resale value. ‘You can knock thousands of dollars off the value of a new car as soon as you drive it out of the dealership, but investing in a beautiful kitchen with quality appliances will only increase the beauty and the value of your home.”

If you are looking for a first date to turn into a second, then renovating your kitchen and installing luxury handcrafted appliances is the way to go, according to the survey.

But having an impressive kitchen is only part of the story, said the survey, adding that a lover also needs to be a good cook to impress his girl.

Forty-six percent women ‘swoon over men who can cook” and 44 percent over ‘who are fit, ” according to the survey findings.

Just one percent women are impressed by the guys who drive nice cars.

Appliance Prices Are Going Up

Top appliance makers Whirlpool and Electrolux are raising prices to pass soaring raw material costs on to customers, but their attempts may not pass muster with bargain-hungry shoppers.

According to Reuters, both companies reported quarterly profits that fell short of estimates as they grapple with tepid demand in major markets like the United States and Europe.
Many analysts questioned the timing of the move, especially since consumers in the developed world continue to look for incentives to buy expensive goods like appliances.

Korean manufacturer Samsung has not announced increases and appears to be planning to hold existing prices. Still, Whirlpool’s chief executive, Jeff Fettig, insisted it was not “economically feasible” for Whirlpool to remain indefinitely in the promotional mindset it adopted for the holiday season and last year in general. “For 2011, we expect positive but uneven demand levels around the world,” Fettig said, adding the company still hoped to expand operating margins in the year through price increases and boosts in productivity.

LG Electronics does plan an increase as well. The planned price increase matches moves announced earlier by Whirlpool and Electrolux.

Whirlpool has shut plants, cut jobs and moved some manufacturing to lower cost centers like Mexico. It has also started using common parts across its lineup of dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines.

Electrolux, which sells under its own name as well as the Zanussi and Frigidaire brands, is planning to raise prices by 8 percent to 10 percent in North America starting in April and gradually in Europe and other markets. The move comes as manufacturers around the globe plot price increases to offset higher materials costs and regain ground lost in the recession. Electrolux Chief Executive Keith McLoughlin said the rise in raw materials’ costs had been across the board.

New GE Profile and GE Café Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators

Dining in can be delicious. And it’s a good thing, because in these money- and health-conscious times, many of us are doing it more often.

Nearly half of Americans, or 46 percent, say they’re dining out less frequently, according to a 2009 Nielsen survey. Also reflecting a trend toward meals served at home, household spending increased on deli items, fresh seafood and meat, and produce for the year ending September 2009. And, as any kid will tell you, some meals at home include leftovers — at least once a week in 77 percent of households, according to a 2010 report by the National Grocers Association.

Regardless of what you’re putting on the dinner table, a key ingredient is convenient food storage. New GE Profile and GE Café bottom-freezer refrigerators not only help preserve your favorite foods for home cooking, they also make it easier than ever for your family to serve themselves — thanks to convenient storage features and an improved ice-and-water-dispenser.

Refrigerators with the freezer on the bottom are increasingly popular, in part because of the convenience they offer in organizing and accessing both fresh and frozen foods. Having the fresh food compartment at eye level allows family members to easily help themselves to frequently used fruits and vegetables, deli items and drinks. In the freezer compartment, slide-out drawers and baskets allow a variety of frozen food packages to be seen at a glance and quickly retrieved.

“Another advantage is that the freezer is wider than in a side-by-side refrigerator,” says Dan Capelle, GE Appliances product manager. “The freezer area is the full width of the refrigerator, providing room for larger items, such as a whole turkey, pizzas, a tray of frozen appetizers, or extra bags of ice.”

Sales of bottom-freezer refrigerators increased more than 40 percent in 2010 alone, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. “Consumers love not only the convenience, but also the style and appearance of these models,” says GE’s Jeff Cooksey, marketing manager for refrigeration.

The new line of GE Profile and GE Café models also features more capacity for ice storage, thanks to a new design that places the water and ice dispenser in the door of the refrigerator. In addition, this frees up more usable space in the fresh food area.

The new line of GE Profile and Café bottom-freezer refrigerators will be available to consumers on May 11, 2011.

Models are available in freestanding, counter-depth, and armoire styles.

GE Appliance Cash Sweepstakes

Beginning January 13th, GE is running an eight week sweepstakes, with weekly $250 VISA card giveaways and a grand prize of $20,000. You can enter each day for a chance to win. Here’s the link to get you there: GE Sweepstakes