June 23, 2017

Archives for February 2011

Electrolux Still Entertaining Daewoo Purchase

Electrolux may be behind your next Daewoo purchase.

Electrolux is interested in buying Daewoo Electronics Corp. should the takeover of the bankrupt South Korean appliance maker by an Iranian rival fall through, Chief Executive Officer Keith McLoughlin said.

According to businessweek.com, creditors of Daewoo Electronics last year agreed to an offer from Entekhab Industrial Group over a competing one from Electrolux. Lenders have since extended the deadline for Entekhab to pay the 471.5 billion won ($420 million) price tag until April 7. Daewoo Electronics had sales of 1.13 trillion won in 2009, according to the latest available regulatory filing.

“If they come back to us, we’ll certainly talk to them,” McLoughlin said in a Feb. 17 interview at the Stockholm-based company’s headquarters. “They knew we were interested, and we’re still interested. If the phone rings, we’ll answer it.”

McLoughlin, who took the helm at the world’s second-biggest home appliance maker at the start of this year, said talks are under way with “more than a couple” potential takeover targets. These may include companies that make air conditioners and other “adjacent products” to Electrolux’s vacuum cleaners, washing machines and refrigerators, he said.

Recall: Remote Control Systems by Niles Audio Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Remote control systems for entertainment electronics

Units: About 4,160

Manufacturer: Niles Audio Corp., of Miami, Fla.

Hazard: If the battery falls from the remote control during handling, it can rupture and smoke or ignite, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: The company has received four reports of batteries falling from the remote control system during handling; one of the batteries ignited and singed a carpet and the other three smoked.

Description: This recall involves the Niles iRemoteTS and iC2 remote control systems. These are wireless remote control devices that are designed to operate audio, video and home theater systems from a single remote control. The iRemoteTS measures 5.4 by 6.2 by 1.25 inches. The Niles logo is featured in the top-left corner of the unit. The iC2 measures 5.2 by 3 by 7.5 inches. “iC2” and the Niles logo are printed on the front of the unit.

Sold at: Authorized dealers and distributors of audio/video equipment between January 2008 and September 2010 for about $1,300 for the iRemoteTS and $1,000 for the iC2.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and contact Niles Audio to schedule an in-home repair to receive a replacement battery and a more secure battery cover. Consumers should not attempt to open the battery compartment. Niles Audio is directly contacting consumers who purchased the recalled remote control systems.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Niles Audio at (800) 667-3991 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.nilesaudio.com/recall

Recall: Sno-Tek Snow Blowers by Liquid Combustion Technology Due to Laceration Hazard

Name of Product: Sno-Tek snow blowers

Units: About 1,500 in the U.S. and 300 in Canada

Importer: Liquid Combustion Technology, LLC (LCT), of Travelers Rest, S.C.

Manufacturer: Ariens, of Brillion, Wis.

Hazard: The snow blower’s engine is missing a safety shield above the side mounted electric starter, posing a laceration hazard to consumer’s fingers.

Injuries/Incidents: None reported.

Description: The recalled snow blowers have a LCT StormForce engine with “Sno-Tek” printed across a metal handlebar plate. Snow blowers with model numbers 920402 and 920403 and UPC codes 5105803094 and 5105803095 are included in this recall. Only snow blowers with engine model number PW1HK18650781DE-ABGOQUVE1M with serial numbers ranging from 1065H04008325A through 1065H04012104A are affected by this recall. The product model number and UPC codes are printed on a label attached to the outside of the gear box near the left wheel.

Sold at: Home Depot and Ariens authorized dealers nationwide and HD.com in Canada from August 2010 through September 2010 for between about $700 and $800.

Manufactured in: Snow blower in United States, engine in China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using these snow blowers and contact LCT for a free repair kit and installation instructions or return them to an authorized LCT service center location for a free repair. LCT’s Service Network toll free number is (800) 558-5402

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact LCT at (800) 552-8094 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.LCTUSA.com

Note: Health Canada’s press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1275

Recall: Atico International USA Heaters Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: TrueLiving Heater Fans and Portable Quartz Radiant Heaters

Units: About 92,000

Sourcing Agent: Atico International USA, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Importer/Retailer: Dollar General Stores, of Goodlettsville, Tenn.

Hazard: These heaters have caught fire, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Atico has received eight reports of the A14B1053 Heater Fan overheating and 21 reports of the A14B0979 Quartz Heater overheating. Reports for the A14B1053 Heater Fan included one report of damage to an electrical outlet and wall and one report of flames coming out of the front of the unit. Reports for the A14B0979 Quartz Heater included damage to the heater’s plug, one report of flames coming from a control knob and one report of a consumer receiving minor burns to the hand. For both products, reports included incidents of smoke and melting of the plastic casing.

Description: Both heaters can be identified by the following model and item numbers and universal product codes (UPC):
Model# Item# UPC
Heater Fans NSB-200B A14B1053 40022749831
Model# Item# UPC
Portable Quartz Radiant Heaters HD-700 A14B0979 400022750066

Model numbers are found on a silver colored sticker on the bottom of the unit. Additionally, both heaters are marked with manufacturing dates between 6/1/2010 and 8/30/2010. The date code appears as “DATE CODE: 0610”

Sold exclusively at: Dollar General Stores from September 2010 to December 2010. The heater fans sold for about $15 and the quartz radiant heater sold for about $42.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled heaters and return them to any Dollar General Store for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Atico International USA toll-free at (866) 448-7856 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.aticousa.com

Recall: LEM Products Food Dehydrators Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Food dehydrators with digital timers

Units: About 3,500

Distributor: LEM Products, of Harrison, Ohio

Hazard: The screws that secure the motor to the back panel can come loose, causing the motor to fall on the heating element. This poses a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: LEM Products has received five reports of motors falling on the unit’s heating element resulting in smoke or fire contained in the unit. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves 5-tray and 10-tray LEM food dehydrators with serial numbers 2010 0701, 2010 0702, 2010 07021, 2010 0901, 2010 0902, 2010 1001 or 2010 1101. The dehydrators are gray and are made of plastic. The LEM logo is embossed on the top of the unit. The serial number is located on the label on the back panel. The last section of the UPC code found in the packaging reads “1009 1” for the 5-tray unit and “1010 7” for the 10-tray unit.

Sold at: Mass merchandisers and retailers nationwide and online at www.lemproducts.com from August 2010 through December 2010 for about $160.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled dehydrators and contact LEM Products to receive a free repair kit.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact LEM Products toll-free at (877) 425-4509 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the website at www.lemproducts.com

Dishwasher Buying Guide – Special Features You May – Or May Not Need

Dishwashers come with many options to help you get sparkling clean dishes. Some come standard on a basic machine and some will add considerably to the price of your new dishwasher. Read on to see what Consumer Reports had to say about these features.

Adjustable racks and loading aids
Racks that adjust up or down, adjustable tines, and silverware and stemware holders let you reconfigure the interior and organize the contents. Those devices increase flexibility, especially when you cook for a crowd, and they can help accommodate large and oddly shaped items.

Dirt sensor
It adjusts water use and cycle length to soil level. A dirt sensor can improve efficiency, but not all work well.

Rinse/hold cycle
It lets you rinse dirty dishes before you’re ready to start a full cycle. This cycle can reduce odors and prevents soil from setting while you accumulate enough dirty dishes for a full load.

Filters
These keep wash water free of food that could be redeposited on clean dishes. There are two types: self-cleaning and manual.
Most filters are self-cleaning; a grinder pulverizes the debris and flushes it down the drain. That’s convenient but noisy. Some models have a filter without a grinder. It’s quieter, but it needs periodic cleaning, a job that takes a few minutes. It’s your choice.

Special wash cycles
Most dishwashers come with at least three cycles: light, normal, and heavy (pots and pans). Some offer pot-scrubber, soak/scrub, steam clean, china/crystal, or sanitizing cycles as well. The three basic cycles should be enough for most chores–even for baked-on food. A sanitizing option that raises water temperature above the typical 140° F doesn’t necessarily clean better.

Stainless-steel tub
Steel is more durable than plastic, but models with a plastic tub tend to cost far less. While light-colored plastic might become discolored, gray-speckled plastic should resist staining. Even a plastic tub should last longer than most people keep a dishwasher.

Hidden touchpad controls
Controls mounted along the top edge of the door are strictly a styling touch. They’re hidden when the door is closed. You can’t see cycle progress at a glance. (Partially hidden controls are a good compromise. They show that the machine is running and often display remaining cycle time.)

Phosphate Free Dishwasher Detergent – The Saga Continues…

Back in July ’10 we published a story about sixteen states banning phosphates from dishwasher detergent. Detergent manufacturers have reacted to that ban by removing all but trace amounts of the chemical from their dishwasher detergents.

The response to that article has been loud and clear – the new formulas are a failure.

Phosphates are chemicals responsible for serious cleaning. Phosphorus debates in the cleaning industry began 40 years ago. By 1993, major manufacturers had stopped using it in laundry detergents, says Dennis Griesing of the American Cleaning Institute, a trade association in Washington, D.C. Automatic dishwasher detergents weren’t part of the change because phosphorous was more critical to the cleaning process.

“Phosphorus likes to bind to things,” Griesing explains. “It’s a very sociable element. It would hold soil from plates and glasses in suspension in the water and prevent redeposition.”

But in 2006, when the state of Washington first voted to limit phosphates in automatic dishwasher detergents, manufacturers saw the writing on the wall. Washington’s law, which reduced the allowable amount from nearly 9 percent to a mere one-half of 1 percent, became the standard for other states.

To get rid of residue on glasses and nonmetal dishes, the institute recommends placing two cups of white vinegar in a bowl on the bottom rack of the dishwasher and running the items through a cycle with no detergent. Rewash with detergent to remove residual vinegar.

Of course, this means using more water, another environmental no-no.

Consumer Reports has suggestions for frustrated consumers, besides doing testing to find the best low-phosphate detergents. Its tips to maximize the effectiveness of dishwashers include loading large items at the side and back so they don’t block water and detergent, placing the dirty side of a dish toward the center of the machine and placing items with baked-on food facedown and toward the sprayer in the bottom rack.

As for CR’s recommended detergents, they are:

Cascade Complete All-in-1 ActionPacs ($7.50, 26-count package)

Finish Powerball Tabs ($6, 20-count package)

Finish Quantum ($13, 45-count package)

Recall: Hoover WindTunnel Canister Vacuums Due to Fire and Shock Hazards

Name of Product: Hoover® WindTunnel Canister Vacuums

Units: About 142,000

Importer: Hoover Inc., of Glenwillow, Ohio

Hazard: The power cord between the power nozzle and the wand connector can short-circuit posing fire and shock hazards to consumers. This condition can occur even if the vacuum has been turned off but left plugged in.

Incidents/Injuries: Hoover has received 69 reports of overheating or electrical malfunction, including one report of fire and smoke damage, and two reports of carpet damage. There has been one report of a minor injury.

Description: This recall involves the Hoover WindTunnel Bagless Canister Vacuum model S3755. The vacuum is silver and black in color, and comes with a power nozzle. The model number can be found on a label on the bottom of the canister.

Sold at: Mass merchandisers, department stores and independent vacuum retailers nationwide and online from March 2003 to December 2008 for between $250 and $280.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vacuum cleaners and contact Hoover for a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Hoover toll-free at (888) 564-2066 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.hoover.com/windtunnelcanisterrecall