February 17, 2000320 Fires, 3 Deaths and $1.2
Million in Damage Spark Cadet and Encore Brand In-Wall Heaters Recall
Vancouver, WA (SafetyAlerts) - Cadet Manufacturing Co.
announced today the recall of more than 1.9 million Cadet and Encore brand in-wall
electric heaters, distributed mainly in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission alleges that the heaters are defective and
can overheat and catch fire.
CPSC is aware of more than 320
reports of heaters that smoked, sparked, caught fire, emitted flames, or ejected burning
particles or molten materials. These incidents have allegedly resulted in three deaths,
two serious burn injuries and property damage claims exceeding $1.2 million, which include
five partial or total house fires.
This recall announcement follows the resolution of the lawsuit filed
by CPSC staff against the company on January 14, 1999. Cadet had issued a warning
concerning the recalled heaters back in January, while awaiting the conclusions of the
Bankruptcy Court. To view that warning click here.
CPSC alleges that the Cadet and
Encore brand in-wall electric heaters models FW, FX, LX, TK, ZA, Z, RA, RK, RLX, RX and ZC
are defective. Flames, sparks or molten particles can spew through the front grill cover
of the heater into the living area of a residence, putting consumers at risk from fires,
including burn injuries, smoke inhalation and property damage. The heaters also can become
energized creating a risk of electric shock.
The heaters that are part of today's
recall announcement are the following models of Cadet and Encore brands: FW, FX, LX, TK,
ZA, Z, RA, RK, RLX, RX and ZC. Click
here for a picture of the recalled heaters.
The brand and model are located on a
label on the front of the heat box, behind the grill. Before removing the grill to check
the identification label, consumers must disconnect the power supply to the heater at the
circuit breaker. If power is not disconnected, consumers risk electrocution and shock.
Cadet is offering consumers
replacement heaters at a significantly reduced cost. Each heater will cost between $25 and
$57, depending on the model. Consumers who already have replaced the recalled units from
October 23, 1997, until today can file a claim for partial reimbursement for $25 per
heater. Consumers must register to participate in this recall by February 17,
2002. To register, contact Cadet anytime at (800) 567-2613 or at www.cadetco.com/recallprogram.html.
CPSC routinely requires companies to
pay the full costs associated with recalls. In this case, Cadet has recently emerged from
bankruptcy and is unable to provide free replacements or full reimbursements.
In October 1997, Cadet recalled its
model FW, FX, LX and ZA heaters to replace defective over-temperature black plastic limit
here for the 1997 recall.
By December 1997, Cadet informed CPSC
that it could no longer pay the full costs of the recall, and that the number of heaters
involved were far greater than it had originally known. While attempting to resolve the
problems with the limit switch recall, the CPSC staff discovered additional problems with
the heaters involved in the 1997 recall, as well as problems with some other Cadet and
Encore models. In addition to the switch defect, the heating elements and internal wiring
connections are defective and can fail. Even if consumers have had the heaters' switches
repaired, the heaters have additional problems and need to be replaced.
CPSC strongly urges consumers to
participate in this recall. Since the recalled heaters pose a fire hazard until they are
replaced, consumers should have at least one fully operational smoke detector on every
floor of their home, especially near bedrooms. To ensure that the detector's batteries are
working, test the detector every month. In addition, families should have a
pre-planned fire escape route.
Notice of this product warning was sent via email
to SafeMail subscribers February 17,
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