May 5, 1997
Release # 97-116
|CPSC: Ken Giles
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1184
CPSC, Chamberlain Group Announce Recall to Repair
Garage Door Openers in Puerto Rico
Washington, D.C. - In cooperation
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), The Chamberlain Group Inc. of
Elmhurst, Ill., is announcing a recall to inspect and repair about 6,000 Sears Craftsman
garage door openers used on swinging or sliding garage doors in Puerto Rico that were not
installed by a Sears authorized installer. If installed improperly, the garage door
openers' safety reversal system may not operate properly, posing a potential entrapment
The Chamberlain Group is aware of a 4-year old boy in Puerto Rico who died from being
caught in a swinging door operated by a Sears Craftsman garage door opener when the safety
reversing sensor did not operate.
This inspection/repair program is limited to Puerto Rico, where swinging or sliding doors
are used extensively. The program does not apply to overhead doors. The program is further
limited to those swinging or sliding garage door openers that have not been installed by
Sears authorized installers and, therefore, may have been installed improperly. When
improperly installed, the swinging or sliding garage doors will not reverse when they hit
an obstruction such as a car or a child.
The garage door openers have model numbers beginning with 139.65XXX and 139.53XXX located
on the right side panel of the opener chassis near the force adjustment controls. Sears
stores throughout Puerto Rico sold the garage door openers from 1980 through 1993 for
about $150 to $220.
Sears is sending letters to all customers in Puerto Rico known to have purchased the
garage door opener. Consumers who purchased these door openers for swinging or sliding
doors, but did not have them installed by a Sears authorized installer should test the
garage door opener's safety reversal system according to instructions in the Owner's
Manual. Consumers should allow the door to close on the narrow side of a 2-inch by 4-inch
piece of wood held in its path. Consumers should not place themselves in the path of the
swinging or sliding door!
If the door does not reverse within two seconds of touching the piece of wood, disconnect
the garage door opener and immediately contact Sears toll-free at 800-473-7247. Sears will
arrange for an inspection and, if necessary, rework of the installation free of charge.
Chamberlain and Sears remind consumers to follow safety instructions in the Owner's Manual
to check the safety reversal system monthly. If you adjust the force or travel limit
controls, you must check the safety reversal system again. CPSC knows of approximately 60
children between the ages of 2 and 14 who were trapped and killed under overhead automatic
garage doors since March 1982. No matter what type of garage door you own, CPSC reminds
consumers to always operate the garage door opener only when the door is in full view and
free from any obstruction. Keep the door in sight until it is completely closed. No one
should cross the path of the moving door.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.