Soleus Air And Kenmore Dehumidifiers May Catch Fire, Pulled From Stores

Our venerable sibling publication Consumer Reports gave a dehumidifier from Soleus Air their “Best Buy” rating. Now it’s off the list and off store shelves after the manufacturer sent a stop-sale notice to retailers. There’s no consumer recall yet, but Amazon did reach out to customers and let them know about the issue.

The affected models were sold as Soleus Air and Kenmore models in 25 pint, 30 pint, 45 pint, 50 pint, and 70 pint sizes. These are the model numbers:

• 42 52301
• 42 52501
• 42 52701
• 42 52702
• DP1-50-03A
• GL-DEH-30-1
• GL-DEH-45-2
• GL-DEH-50-2
• GL-DEH-70-2
• GL-DEH-70P-2
• GM-DEH-30M-1
• GM-DEH-45-1
• GM-DEH-70-1
• SG-DEH-25-4
• SG-DEH-30-2
• SG-DEH-30B-1
• SG-DEH-30M-1
• SG-DEH-30M-1A
• SG-DEH-45-1
• SG-DEH-45-1A
• SG-DEH-45-2
• SG-DEH-50-2
• SG-DEH-70-1
• SG-DEH-70-1A
• SG-DEH-70-2
• DP1-30-03
• DP1-45-03 (MobilComfort)
• DP1-70-03 (MobilComfort)
• DP1-30-03A
• DP1-70-03A (MobilComfort)
• DP2-30-03 (MobilComfort)
• DP2-45-03 (MobilComfort)
• DP2-50-03
• DP2-70-03 (MobilComfort)

What’s wrong with the appliances? There have been reports of overheating, smoke, or fires. One customer and aspiring “Mythbusters” host happened to catch his humidifier while it was just in the burning-electronics phase of its combustion. He hauled it outside and watched it burn while filming the whole situation for YouTube. As one does.

Generally, you would want to unplug the appliance when something like this happens.

What should you do if you own one of the listed dehumidifiers? You should unplug it immediately. Contact the company handling the recall at 866-853-2802.

UPDATE: Or maybe not. Reader Lee wrote in to let us know that he called the company about his own dehumidifier after the stop-sale notice went out, and was told quite emphatically that there is no consumer recall yet.

Lee writes:

I purchased through Amazon one of the Soleus Air dehumidifiers and contacted the Stericycle Expert Recall at the number given in the email from Amazon.

I was told there is not a recall of the units and I may continue using the unit as long as I “follow the instructions in the owners manual”. I pressed the representative for more information…what does it mean “follow the instructions in the owner’s manual”? After some back and forth, it turns out some people never clean the filter and the reduced air flow can result in “smoke being produced” (fire was studiously not mentioned).

I am continuing to use the unit, but am fastidiously keeping the filter clean!

The stop-sale order seems to have gone out in mid-June from the manufacturer, Gree Electric Appliances. Amazon turned around and contacted customers who had bought affected products, but Soleus insists on their website that the stop-sale notice is for retailers. “This does not affect end users that have previously purchased the dehumidifiers,” the company says on its website. The affected models have manufacture dates going back to 2010, though, and many have obviously gone out to customers, including two Consumerist tipsters.

Here’s the letter that Amazon customers received, which is pretty much the same information from the stop sale notice.

Greetings from Amazon.com,

We have recently learned that Gree Electric Appliances Inc has issued a stop sale for certain models of SoleusAir or Kenmore Dehumidifiers . Our records indicate that you have purchased one of the products listed in this notification through the Amazon.com website.

The potentially affected dehumidifier units were manufactured during the period of 2010 to 2012, and were distributed under either the SoleusAir or Kenmore brands in 25 pint, 30 pint, 45 pint, 50 pint, and 70 pint sizes.

There have been consumer reports of dehumidifier units overheating, emitting smoke, or catching fire.

Customers with the affected products may contact Stericycle ExpertRECALL at 866-853-2802 for more information.

If you purchased this for someone else, please notify the recipient immediately and provide them with this information.

We regret the inconvenience this notification has caused you but trust you will understand that the safety of our customers is our highest priority.

Thanks for shopping at Amazon.com.

Sincerely,

Customer Service
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com

Many thanks to Jeff and to M, the readers who let us know about the recall-that’s-not-a-recall yet.

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE [Gree] (PDF)
Soleus Air dehumidifiers pulled from stores and our Ratings [Consumer Reports]