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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
March 21, 1991 (301) 504-0580
Release # 91-055

General Electric Voluntarily Recalls Drip Coffeemakers

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The General Electric Company (GE) in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), today announced the voluntary recall of certain GE and Universal brand drip coffeemakers manufactured before April 28, 1984 which present a potential fire hazard.

The company believes that a fire hazard may occur when a purchased thermal fuse in the coffeemaker fails to function as intended. About nine million drip coffeemakers bearing the GE or Universal brand name were manufactured between 1976 and 1984.

GE has received approximately 400 reports of coffeemakers overheating. It has been alleged recently that one fire caused by a fuse failure resulted in two fatalities and serious personal injury to eight other people. GE has received claims that fuse failures also may have been responsible for fires that resulted in one additional death and 15 personal injuries. Approximately 375 of the claims involve property damage ranging in value from $300 to $1.3 million. As an incentive, GE is offering owners $10 for each recalled unit returned. A $10 check will be mailed when a unit is received by GE. GE will give consumers with recalled coffeemakers pre-paid mailing cartons. In the carton will be instructions that will tell consumers how to arrange for convenient pick-up. This new method of recall is aimed at reducing consumer effort and increasing the rate of return.

Units made on or after April 28, 1984 are not involved in this recall. To determine the date of manufacture, check the date code number stamped on the outside metal blade of the electric plug. If the number is 418 through 600, the coffeemaker is not involved in this recall. Other GE brand and Universal brand drip coffeemakers which are not involved in the recall are:

  • Space Maker Drip Coffeemakers (catalog numbers that include the designations SDC1, SDC2, and SDC3)
  • Percolators

Owners of a GE brand or Universal brand drip coffeemaker are asked to read both the catalog number on the bottom of the unit and the date code stamped on the outside of the metal blades of the electric plug. If the coffeemaker is a recalled unit, consumers should call toll-free 1-800-443-9000.

The recalled coffeemakers are not repairable, and owners should unplug the unit and stop using it immediately. Consumers are being asked to check the automatic drip coffeemakers at their home and place of work.

The CPSC is issuing this joint warning as part of its mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. The CPSC is the Federal agency responsible for consumer product safety.

FOR TV REPORTERS/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS;
VIDEOTAPE ON THIS RELEASE WILL BE AVAILABLE
CALL DAN RUMELT AT 301-492-6580

GE CONTACTS: OGDEN MORSE, MARGARET DURANTE,
AND MARY-MIKE SIMONS MAY BE REACHED AT 212-614-4005

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order a press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax machine and enter the release number. Consumers can report product hazards to info@cpsc.gov.

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