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On August 21, 2012, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a voluntary recall on LG Electronics and Sears’ Kenmore Elite Gas Dryers. There are approximately 21,000 affected units in the United States, sold between November 2009 and August 2010 at Sears and other appliance stores. Each device cost between $650 and $1500. Sears and LG Electronics received 141 consumer reports of the gas dryers continuing to heat after the drying cycle was finished. This can cause damage to the dryer and the consumer’s clothing. The elevated temperature poses a fire hazard, increasing the risk of consumer burns or smoke inhalation. Consumers should turn off the gas supply and discontinue use of the defective dryers immediately. LG electronics and Sears will be replacing the gas valves in the affected units free of charge.

Damage occurs when the gas valve of defective dryers fails to properly shut off. As the LG Electronics and Sears Kenmore Elite Gas Dryers continue to heat, the devices reach unsafe interior and exterior temperatures. This can scorch the drum of the dryer and its contents, causing consumer property loss. The gas dryers also present a safety risk to owners and their families. Of the 141 consumer complaints received by Sears and LG Electronics, there were 3 incidents involving consumer injury. The reports indicate minor burns to arms and hands. In over 50 cases, there were reports of burned or charred clothing.

The affected dryers were manufactured by LG Electronics Inc. of South Korea. The recalled Sears Kenmore Elite Gas Dryers come in red, white, or ginger (gold) colors. The affected LG Electronics Gas Dryers were produced in white. To find the model and serial number of a potentially defective LG Electronics or Sears Kenmore Elite Gas Dryer, the consumer should first shut off the gas supply to the dryer. After safely ensuring the dryer is turned off, the consumer may open the door and look for a label on the front of the dryer. The label located directly above the open door will have model and serial number information that the consumer may use to identify a recalled dryer. A list of affected dryers can be found on the CPSC release.

Consumers that purchased their LG Electronics or Kenmore Elite Gas Dryers from Sears may contact Sears toll-free at 888-375-9741 for recall information and to schedule the gas valve replacement. Consumers that purchased an LG Electronics Gas Dryer from appliance retailers other than Sears may contact LG Electronics customer service toll-free at 866-223-5355 for more information and to schedule the repair. Although this recall is very recent and does not appear to be currently listed on the company websites, consumers should be able to visit LG Electronics and Sears online for additional information in the coming days.