August 16, 2017

Archives for August 2010

Recall: Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smokers Due to Injury Hazard

Name of Product: Char-Broil vertical gas smokers

Units: About 18,450

Importer: Char-Broil LLC, of Columbus, Ga.

Manufacturer: Ningbo Spring Communications of China

Hazard: When the temperature setting is in “low,” the smoker’s hose/valve/regulator (HVR) assembly does not allow sufficient gas to flow, causing the flame to extinguish. Gas continues to flow and build up inside the smoker. If the smoker is reignited the build-up of propane gas can cause an explosion that bursts the smoker’s door open, posing an injury hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: The company has received five reports of doors bursting open and hitting consumers. Injuries reported include burns to face and head, head concussion and cuts.

Description: This recall involves the Char-Broil vertical gas smokers with model number 07701413. The model number is printed on a metal tag located on the right rear leg of the smoker. The smoker measures 21.5″ x 19.5″ x 45.5″ and weighs 75 pounds. A “G” inside a triangle is printed on the regulator (see photo).

Sold at: Walmart and various other retailers nationwide from March 2008 through June 2010 for about $140.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled smokers and contact Char-Broil for a free replacement hose/valve/regulator assembly and installation instructions.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Char-Broil toll-free at (866) 671-7988 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.charbroil.com


smoker

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 it by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx

Kenmore’s Talking Appliances

Last February, Mel Bonner, 63, of Tinley Park, Ill., noticed water beneath his washing machine. He couldn’t find a leak, so he dialed the manufacturer’s customer service number. Then he held the receiver up and let the machine do the “talking.”

The washer was “beeping, and lights [were] flashing” as it transmitted self-diagnostic data, says Bonner, a retired electrician. When the telephone representative couldn’t figure out the problem, a technician was dispatched to Bonner’s home. The technician “didn’t know what was wrong” when he arrived, says Bonner, “but he knew what wasn’t wrong.” The washing machine was working properly again in less than half an hour. “It was just so simple,” says Bonner. “I don’t know why everybody doesn’t have this.”

Kenmore has unveiled a set of washers and dryers that can speak to technicians, at least over the phone. The appliances, called the Kenmore Elite washer and dryer series, use a technology called Kenmore Connect to speak. Through Kenmore Connect, a machine will send real time diagnostic information to a technician over a phone line.

Once this information is received, the technician can help the consumer fix the problem. The machines don’t speak via a conventional speech synthesizer; the sounds are digitally coded and come out as beeps and something that sounds like noise.

Kenmore said technicians use 100 different data points derived from the Kenmore Connect transmission. This includes air and water temperatures, cycle times and spin speeds. The data points can point to the status of certain electrical and mechanical sub-systems or reveal the mechanical issue with the error code.

The talking appliance is not only convenient for the user, but for Kenmore as well. It allows the company to reduce the amount of time it spends fixing appliances in someone’s house.

“The majority of service calls during the first year of ownership can be rectified by educating new owners over the phone once we have a deep understanding of the question at hand thanks to the information being sent from their Kenmore appliance directly to our experts via the phone.”

Kenmore said it conducted field testing earlier in the year. The initial results from these tests showed the talking significantly reduced the number of customers that needed an in-home repair.

Bonner was one of several thousand customers in a pilot program to test the remote-servicing technology.  LG plans to add the feature to many of its top-of-the-line laundry appliances in the U.S.

Smeg Retro Washer

I love the look of Smeg’s retro refrigerator that we wrote about Here.

Smeg adds to the look with its  free-standing washing machine sink combo.

Washing Machine:

  • 15 washing programs
  • Variable spin speed from 600 up to 1600 rpm
  • Delay timer
  • Max 5 kg of dry laundry
  • steel drum and tank
  • Extra large 300 mm porthole
  • Door safety lock
  • Automatic variable load
  • Self cleaning pump & filter
  • adjustable feet

The washer is available in pink or blue, the only catch is that these are still sold only in Europe!  We’ll have to wait…