People often purchase a chest freezer to keep in their garages or other utility rooms in their homes when they have excessive amounts of meat or frozen food to store for future consumption. Regardless, like any expensive home appliances, consumers expect these freezers to last and keep their food safe without any serious problems. For instance, they don’t expect their freezers to possibly overheat and catch fire, which is unfortunately the case with approximately 41,000 Haier America chest freezers this week.
The New York-based Haier announced this week’s recall of the popular chest freezers as an expansion of a 2010 recall that involved an additional 67,500 freezers. In both events, the freezer issues were caused by defective capacitors that can cause the circuitry to overheat and start fires. The original recall was spurred by 18 incidents of overheating, which included four reports of fire and minor property damage, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Since then, the CPSC and Haier have received an additional 27 incident reports, three of which involving “fires that caused substantial property damage.” Fortunately, no injuries have been reported in connection to these incidents.
The freezers in question were sold by major national retailers and online companies like WalMart and Amazon between September 2009 and March 2013 for as much as $290. This latest recall includes both the Haier 7.0-cubic foot model (No. HNCM070E) and the 5.3-cubic foot model (No. ESNCM053E), as well as the Black & Decker 5.3-cubic foot model (NO. BFE53). The units’ model numbers are printed on a label located on the back of the freezer.
Haier and the CPSC are urging consumers to unplug and cease using the Haier and Black & Decker chest freezers immediately, and to call the manufacturer at (877) 878-7579 to schedule a free repair.