January 23, 2002
MCM Has Recalled Electric Pressure Washers
Prairie, MN (SafetyAlerts)
has recalled about
50,000 Black Cat™ electric pressure washers. MCM International imported the
pressure washers from a manufacturer in China who installed counterfeit
ground fault circuit
interrupter (GFCI) plugs on some of the units, without MCM's approval. All
of the plugs are labeled "WELLONG"; however, the pressure washers with
counterfeit "WELLONG" GFCI plugs appear virtually identical to those with
genuine "WELLONG" GFCIs. It will require a professional inspection to
identify the counterfeit GFCIs. GFCIs are important safety devices that are
intended to protect consumers against shock or electrocution.
CPSC and MCM International have not received any reports of incidents in
which the GFCI plugs failed to operate. This recall is being conducted to
prevent the possibility of injury.
The recalled Black Cat™ pressure washers have a sticker with a cat and the
words "Black-Cat" on each side of the unit. The model numbers - either
BC-2000 or TW-1750 - can be found on a label on the right side of the power
station. The label also reads in part, "Made in China," "High Pressure
Cleaning Machines," and the "Production Date" (which should fall between
March 2001 and July 2001). The GFCI plugs have a green "Reset" button and a
blue "Test" button - some plugs also have a label that reads "CONNECT TO
INDIVIDUAL BRANCH CIRCUIT ONLY." On the back of the GFCI plug near the
electrical prongs are the words "WELLONG" and "Rainproof."
Target and Menard's stores nationwide sold these pressure washers from
August 2001 to September 2001 for between $85 and $100.
Consumers should stop using these pressure washers and call MCM
International at (800) 304-1316 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through
Friday to arrange to have their unit inspected. If necessary, MCM
International will replace the installed GFCI plug with a genuine WELLONG
CPSC reminds consumers that any electrical product that is used near water
should contain a GFCI, in the plug or outlet. Prior to the implementation of
the voluntary standard calling for the inclusion of GFCI plugs with
high-pressure cleaning machines, there were several electrocution deaths and
injuries. These incidents did not involve the Black Cat pressure washer.