Over 1.5 million dehumidifiers are under recall after fire reports. Here’s what you need to know
Aug 17, 2023, 6:44 AM
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
NEW YORK (AP) — More than 1.5 million dehumidifiers are under recall following reports of nearly two dozen fires, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The recall impacts 42 models of dehumidifiers sold under five brand names: Kenmore, GE, SoleusAir, Norpole and Seabreeze. These products, all manufactured by the Zhuhai, China-based Gree Electric Appliances, were sold from January 2011 to February 2014 at major retailers nationwide — including Walmart, Home Depot and Sam’s Club, among others.
According to the CPSC, the now-recalled dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke and catch fire. Gree has received reports of at least 23 fires, 688 overheating incidents and $168,000 in property damage from the recalled products.
Consumers are instructed to unplug and immediately stop using the dehumidifiers — and contact Gree for a refund.
The recalled dehumidifiers can be identified by their brand, model number and capacity, which is all listed on the CPSC’s notice. The products are white, beige, gray or black plastic — sold in various sizes for between $110 and $400.
The Associated Press reached out to Gree for comment on Thursday.
This isn’t the first time that Gree-manufactured dehumidifiers have been recalled for fire and burn risks. On Wednesday, the CPSC also warned consumers of a previous and separate recall impacting Gree dehumidifiers sold from January 2005 through January 2014 under a handful of brands: Danby, De’Longhi, Fedders, Fellini, Frigidaire, GE, Gree, Kenmore, Norpole, Premiere, Seabreeze, SoleusAir and SuperClima.
That recall was first announced in 2013, expanded in 2014 and most recently reannounced in 2016. To date, more than 2,000 overheating incidents and 450 fires have been reported — resulting in $19 million in property damage and four deaths “potentially associated with Gree dehumidifiers,” the CPSC said Wednesday, pointing to 2016 and 2022 fatal house fires in Ohio, Iowa and Missouri.
In 2021, Gree and its Hong Kong subsidiary agreed to pay $91 million for failing to tell U.S. regulators that the devices could overheat and could catch fire. The firms entered into an agreement to avoid criminal prosecution, the U.S. attorney’s office said at the time — noting they would also provide restitution to victims for fire damage caused by the dehumidifiers.
In April of this year, Gree’s U.S. subsidiary, Gree USA, was also sentenced to pay a $500,000 criminal fine and restitution payments as part of this resolution.