Recalls – How Long do They Last?

Have you ever wondered how long a recall lasts?  When the government or a manufacturer orders a vehicle recall, there are usually hundreds if not thousands of vehicles involved.  Sometimes, the numbers are in the millions.  Any way you look at it, recalls cost manufacturers a lot of money.  According to Federal Law, the statute of limitations for vehicle recalls is 10 years.  There are two conditions where the statute could expire earlier: the manufacturer goes out of business or the parts needed to make repairs are no longer manufactured.  There is one other thing that owners need to be aware of and that is that for a no-cost recall repair, the vehicle has to be less than 10 years old as of the date that the defect was determined.  On the other hand, other types of recalls such as appliance, lawn and garden equipment, furniture and toys remain permanently in effect from the date of issue.  There is NO expiration date for recalls of items other than vehicles.  If a recall is discovered months or years after the original recall date, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends contacting the manufacturer and discussing the situation with them.  If the problem cannot be resolved to each party’s satisfaction, then contact the CPSC and report the problem.  The CPSC can be reached by calling 1-800-638-2772.     

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Craigslist and Recalled Products

ABC News has reported that Craigslist is allowing users to post ads in an attempt to sell recalled products. It is against the law to knowingly sell recalled items.  Please be careful when purchasing any manufactured item, whether from Craigslist, Ebay, or any other forum where products are offered on an “as is” condition.  Before you buy do a little homework; it might save you a lot of pain in the future.  Get the name of the manufacturer, model and serial numbers.  Go to the manufacturer’s website and check for a recall on the item.  If you can’t find the item, check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website; www.cpsc.gov to see if they have any recalls for the product.  By law, manufacturers are required to report defects to the CPSC as soon as they learn about a problem.  If you find a recalled product – STAY AWAY FROM IT!  Remember, products are recalled because there is the possibility of personal injury or property damage or both.  In either case, working through a serious injury or property damage can be expensive and time consuming.

General Electric Pays $3.5 million Civil Penalty

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that it has come to an agreement with General Electric regarding an imposed penalty for not reporting defects in two of its product lines. The products were identified as the “Profile” dual fuel ranges and “Profile and Monogram” dishwashers. According to the CPSC, press release number 15-082 dated February 19, 2015; General Electric had been notified about overheating of a wiring harness connector back in 2004 but did not report the problem until 2009. It was further determined that the overheating of the connector could also pose a fire hazard. In April of 2009, General Electric recalled 28,000 dual fuel ranges because of the hazard. Furthermore, the CPSC has determined that the control board in “Profile” and “Monogram” dishwashers can short circuit as result of the buildup of condensation on the boards. The short circuiting can also pose fire and burn hazards. According to the CPSC, General Electric had known about the problem since 2007 but failed to report the defect to the CPSC until 2010. Instead, the company chose to settle claims and make payments based on reports of defective units. In October of 2010, the company recalled 174,000 units.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to notify the CPSC immediately after learning of a potential defect in a product that could be hazardous to consumers. Consumers can report a dangerous product by going on line to www.saferproducts.gov or calling the CPSC hotline at 1-800-638-2772.

Samsung Washing Machine Update

Recently, we updated our blog to include another instance of a failed drain pump bracket in a Samsung washing machine. In that update, it was reported that the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) local representative had been notified and asked to investigate. On August 26, we were notified that the CPSC’s compliance division was not taking any action at this time. It is therefore recommended that consumers who have experienced problems with Samsung’s drain pump bracket failures report the failures to the CPSC. The website address is http://www.cpsc.gov . Follow the links to on the home page to submit your complaint. An exemplar photograph of a broken bracket and pump is shown below.

Broken bracket and pump found in Samasung washing machine

Broken bracket and pump found in Samasung washing machine

Another Samsung Drain Pump Failure

Earlier this past July, it was reported that Samsung was experiencing a problem with drain pump bracket failures in some of their washing machines. Another Samsung washing machine has been encountered with the same problem. This time, the bracket problem is in model number WA456DRHDWR/AA. As in the previous description, the bracket fails, the pump hangs and eventually pulls the inlet drain hose off of the wash tub allowing water to flow freely onto the floor. Since there are a number of complaints about this problem on-line, a representative of the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been contacted and asked to investigate to determine if a recall should be initiated. To date, no word has been received from the CPSC on what will happen.

Haier Freezer Recall

Our website (www.rjhill.com) has been updated in regard to a recall issued by Haier America for a problem with its 5.3 cu ft chest type freezers. A faulty capacitor has been identified as a fire hazard in those units. However, in the couse of one of our investigations, we encountered a fire in a 3.5 cu ft chest freezer which is similar to the fires in the 5.3 cu ft units. That is , the fires start low, in the compressor/control area and burn upward. Although no connection has been proven between the two units, the Consumer Product Safety commission has been asked to investigate further. Details of the recall issued by Haier are available on the CPSC website, www.cpsc.gov . On this page, click on “Recalls and Product Safety News”. On the next page, go to ‘Find Reports by Month and year”, enter “November 2010”. On the next page, scroll down to “Haier America Recalls Chest Freezers Due to Fire Hazard”.

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