Tag Archives: recalls

CPSC with General Electric & Sharp Recall GE Air Conditioning and Heating Units

Today, in an air conditioning & heating news alert, we received the following AC heater recall notification. Side note: we get AC heating alerts daily in digest form by using Google Alerts (http://www.google.com/alerts), and find this free service to be very useful. Now, back to the recall: it’s on the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) website. This is a voluntary recall of more than 90,000 units from the two companies who manufactured and distributed them. The recall was written in a format that is easy to read, so, we’ll include the text from it here (minus a bit of formatting), and also put a link at the bottom to their website.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2011

Release #11-247

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (866) 918-8771

CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772

CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

General Electric, Sharp Recalls GE Air Conditioning and Heating Units Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: GE Zoneline Air Conditioners and Heaters

Units: About 90,600

Distributor: GE Appliances and Lighting, of Louisville, Ky.

Manufacturer: Sharp Corp., of Osaka, Japan

Hazard: An electrical component in the heating system can fail, posing a fire hazard to consumers.Incidents/Injuries: General Electric and Sharp have received four reports of incidents involving smoke and/or fire with the air conditioning and heating units. In two of the reported incidents, fire extended beyond the air conditioning and heating unit, resulting in property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves GE Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTAC) and packaged terminal heat pumps manufactured between January 2010 and March 2011, and are most often used in apartment buildings and commercial space. The GE logo is affixed to the control panel door. Serial and model are printed on the rating plate. Consumers will need to remove the front panel to locate the model and serial information.

The following models and serials are included in this recall:

Brand       Model Number (Begins with)      Serial Number (Begins with)

GE               AZ41, AZ61                                       AT, DT, FT, GT, HT, LT, MT, RT, ST, TT, VT and ZT AV, DV and FV

Sold by: General Electric authorized representatives and HVAC distributors nationwide from March 2010 through March 2011 for between $1,000 and $1,200.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the air conditioning and heating units in the heat mode and contact General Electric to schedule a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact General Electric toll-free at (866) 918-8771 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.geappliances.com/products/recall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on www.saferproducts.gov.

CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

Under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell or resell this or any other recalled product.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: www.saferproducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.

 

Link to CPSC Website for this recall On the CPSC website, there is an image of the recalled unit. It is a package type or combination AC heating unit.

 

Even the Best Air Conditioners Break Sometimes – And When They Do…

Most days of each month, I read an HVAC industry online news group. In those, I read that even the most established brands of AC and heating equipment sometimes have defects, recalls, service bulletins, and so on.  This is in spite of how well they are assembled at the factory or installed at your location.

Here’s our take on the situation:  when your system needs repair, which it likely will at some point, have yourself set to get it going again with minimal inconvenience, discomfort, and cost.  To prepare for the day when your system goes on the blink, below are a few practical questions to consider when you are deciding which local HVAC contractor to install it and brand or model of equipment to buy (in that order of importance).

– How long has the contractor been in business under the same name, location and ownership?

– What training, certification, and experience do their technicians have?

– What is the relationship of the contractor to the brand(s) of AC and heating equipment they sell: Owned by them?  Exclusive dealer?  Independent dealer?

– How many service trucks and technicians do they have?

– Does the local contractor have 24-7 service?

– Do they charge extra for service after hours, weekends or holidays?

– What is the parts and labor warranty from the manufacturer? From the installer?

– If you sign up for a yearly maintenance plan, do you get preferential appointment times, pricing, or both on repair work?

– Do they have a good rating with minimal unresolved issues at the Better Business Bureau – BBB?

– When you search online for their company name, are the online comments generally positive?

On this last point, online testimonials or rants, be aware of what we call the “wild west” effect. By that, we mean that, far too often, we see and hear about companies writing good stuff about themselves or even bad stuff about their competitors.  And some real customers who take the time to write are not always objective.

Not to worry. If you use most of the points above and ask your neighbors who they use, you’ll get a reliable composite of the companies you are considering.