August 20, 2014

Recall: Haier America and Black and Decker Chest Freezers Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Chest Freezers

Units: About 67,500

Importer: Haier America Trading LLC, New York, N.Y.

Hazard
: A capacitor in the freezer’s circuitry can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries
: Haier America and CPSC have received reports of 18 incidents, including four reports of fires with minor property damage, consisting of smoke damage, damage to a wall, and food spoilage. There have been no reports of injuries.

Description: This recall involves the Black & Decker® Model BFE53 and Haier® Model ESNCM053E 5.3 cubic foot capacity white chest freezers. “Black & Decker” is printed at the front upper-right corner or “Haier” is printed on the front upper-left corner of the freezer. “Black & Decker” or “Haier,” the model number, the unit’s serial number and other information are printed on a rating label at the top center of the back of the freezer. Only Model BFE53 and Model ESNCM053E freezers with serial numbers beginning as follows are included in this recall:

Beginning of Serial Number
on Rating Label
1001
1002
1003
1004
1005
1006
1007

Sold at: Black & Decker Model BFE53 was sold exclusively at Wal-Mart nationwide from January 2010 through September 2010, for about $150. Haier Model ESNCM053E was sold through Amazon.com and other retailers from May 2010 through October 2010 for between $220 to $290.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately unplug their freezer and contact the company to schedule an appointment for a free repair to the freezer.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, call the company toll-free at (877) 878-7579 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Sundays or visit the firm’s website at www.chestfreezerrecall.com

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

Freezer Sales Increasing

Consumers across the country are trying to find ways to save money. The cost of food keeps going up and no one can predict when it will stop. While the appliance market has cooled down a bit generally, the sales of freezers has gone up.

According toTheTimesTribune.com, across the country, shoppers bought more than 1.1 million freezers during the first six months of the year — up more than 7 percent from the same period last year, according to research firm NPD Group. That rings up to nearly $400 million in freezer sales — a staggering figure compared to the rest of the home appliance sector, where industry data shows shipments are down nearly 8 percent.

And, experts said, it’s a trend that’s expected to continue at least through much of next year as penny-pinching shoppers buy in bulk to take advantage of deals or bundle grocery shopping trips to conserve gas. About half of all U.S. households already have a chest or upright freezer, separate from the refrigerator-freezer combo that’s a kitchen stalwart, according to industry statistics.

To accommodate the rest — or cater to shoppers who want to upgrade to newer or more spacious models — some appliance makers are redesigning their products and marketing them as a way to put the freeze on rising food prices.

This summer, Frigidaire’s revamped upright freezers began hitting stores, as the brand owned by Swedish manufacturer Electrolux AB added specially designed shelves, baskets and other features to accommodate the appliances’ growing popularity.