April, 2007
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Maytag recalls 2 million dishwashers due to fire hazard

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of product:
Maytag® and Jenn-Air® brand dishwashers

Units:
About 2.3 million

Manufacturer:
Maytag Corp., of Newton, Iowa
Hazard: Liquid rinse-aid can leak from its dispenser and come into contact with the dishwasher’s internal wiring, which can short-circuit and ignite, posing a fire hazard.
Incidents/Injuries: Maytag has received 135 reports of dishwasher fires, resulting in product and/or property damage. Four injuries have been reported, including three reports of smoke inhalation and one serious hand laceration when operating a fire extinguisher to put out a fire in the dishwasher.

Description:
The recall involves Maytag® and Jenn-Air® under-counter or portable-plastic tub dishwashers. The dishwashers have black, white, almond, bisque and stainless steel front panels. The following model and serial numbers are printed on a label located on the dishwasher’s plastic frame on top of or to the left of the door opening. Consumers should contact Maytag to determine if their dishwasher is included in this recall.

Sold at:
Department and appliance stores and by home builders nationwide from July 1997 through June 2001 for between $370 and $800.

Manufactured in:
United States

Remedy:
Consumers should immediately stop using these dishwashers, disconnect the electric supply by shutting off the fuse or circuit breaker controlling it and inform all users of the dishwasher about the risk of fire. Contact Maytag for either a free in-home repair, or a $75 cash back reimbursement following the purchase of a new Maytag®, Jenn-Air®, Whirlpool® or KitchenAid® dishwasher. Consumers should not return the dishwasher to the retailer where it was purchased, as retailers are not prepared to take units back.

Consumer Contact:
For more information, contact Maytag Corporation at 800-675-0535 any time, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.repair.maytag.com.

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Making the best battery decisions

Americans discard millions of potentially toxic batteries each year; find out how you can help prevent the heavy metals they contain from harming the environment—and your health.

Purchase rechargeable batteries wherever possible. (Note: They do lose their charge over time, so they are not the best choice in all applications such as smoke alarms.)

When rechargeables no longer be recharged (after as many as 1,000 uses, according to some estimates), bring them to a retailer that is participating in a recycling program.

Look for products that eliminate or minimize battery use and avoid products with unnecessary features that might require additional battery power. Some electronic devices also give you the option to run at a lower power setting, extending battery life.

Study the different kinds of batteries on the market. That will help you choose the optimal battery for each application and maximize its power.

For additional information about batteries and recycling, visit www.earth911.org. To find the location of a rechargeable battery recycling drop-off site near you, go to www.rbrc.com/consumer.

Source: National Wildlife Federation.