While statistics may vary, the devastating results of Hurricane Sandy on New York and much of the east coast are a harrowing reminder of the importance of storm and disaster preparation. Approximately 8 million people are currently without power from South Carolina to Maine, including in New York City’s largest neighborhoods and boroughs. In fact, due to flooding in the basement, the generators at the NYU-Tisch Hospital failed and approximately 200 patients, including 20 babies, had to be transferred to other medical facilities. But on a consumer level, people who are dealing with the results of natural disasters should be able to depend on the equipment and supplies that they have purchased to weather the storm.
In a case of poor timing, California-based Champion Power Equipment and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have announced the recall of approximately 8,600 portable generators due to potential fire hazards. According to the CPSC report, there is a potential for a fuel leak due to a defect in the generators’ carburetor, which can lead to fire and even property damage and injury. To date, Champion Power Equipment has received 11 reports of fuel leaks, 8 of which have resulted in fires and two of those cases led to property damage.
Involved in the recall are generators with model numbers 41332 and 41532. For the 41332 models, those with the serial numbers from 11NOV2600701 to 11NOV2601500 are affected. For the 41532 models, the serial number from 11NOV1400151 to 11NOV1400360, 11DEC0700001 to 11DEC0700720, 11DEC1301077 to 11DEC1402602, 11DEC2201801 to 11DEC2203600, 11DEC2501531 to 11DEC2503330, and 11DEC2801073 to 11DEC2801325.
The generators were sold at Costco stores nationwide between December 2011 and July 2012 for $699. Champion Power Equipment is urging consumers who may have purchased these generators to stop using them immediately and either contact the company at (855) 236-9424 for a free repair kit or take the generators to Costco for a full refund. Unfortunately, for some, that may be easier said than done.