The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled more than 400,000 Bosch, Gaggenau, Jenn-Air and Thermador dishwashers after reports that the power cords in these appliances could overheat and set off a fire. According to news outlets, so far, there have been five instances of the malfunctioning power cords causing fires and property damage, but no injuries. The affected units span the four brands listed above and were sold between January 2013 and May 2015. The CPSC initially recalled 149,000 units in October 2015.
The number of appliances recalled totally now exceeds half a million. If you purchased a dishwasher between that time period, visit the CPSC website to find out if your dishwasher is included in the recall. You can do so by checking the model number on the inner door panel or side panel of your dishwasher. If your appliance is on the list, you should stop using it and contact the company for a free inspection and repair. Bosch also has a recall hotline where you can call for more information at (888) 965-5813.
The Danger of Appliance Fires
Household appliances cause a disturbing number of structural fires involving residences in the United States. Home appliances cause an estimated 150,000 fires a year resulting in 150 deaths and more than $500 million in property damage. A Consumer Reports investigation in 2012 looked at 69,000 reports of house fires blamed on appliances between 2002 and 2009.
The investigation found that nearly 25 percent of those fires could be attributed to problems with appliances – mechanical, electrical or design flaws. Faulty appliances causing the most fires were ranges, followed by dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators, and dishwashers. Millions of dishwashers have been recalled due to defects that could cause fires over the last few years.
Protecting Yourself and Your Rights
Consumers can protect themselves by registering new appliances with the manufacturer so they will get recall notices when they are issued. It is also a good idea not to run your clothes dryer or dishwasher overnight or when you are away and can’t keep an eye on the appliances.
If you have been injured by a faulty or defectively designed appliance, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, property damage, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.