Gree Re-Announces 2013 Dehumidifier Recall Linked To $19M In Property Damage

Image courtesy of CPSC

Federal safety regulators are hoping the fourth time is the charm for millions of recalled dehumidifiers that have now been linked to 450 fires and more than $19 million in property damage: Gree Electric Appliances — the manufacturer fined a record $15.45 million over the fiery dehumidifiers earlier this year — has re-announced the recall. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with Gree, re-announced the recall — which covers nearly 2.5 million dehumidifiers — Tuesday aiming to get more consumers to replace their defective, and dangerous, machines.

Gree manufactured the recalled 20, 25, 30, 40, 45, 50, 65 and 70-pint dehumidifiers with brand names Danby, De’Longhi, Fedders, Fellini, Frigidaire, GE, Gree, Kenmore, Norpole, Premiere, Seabreeze, SoleusAir, and SuperClima.

greehumidifiers

The CPSC originally recalled the devices back in Sept. 2013 after receiving reports of dehumidifiers that overheated and caught on fire. A month later the agency updated the recall.

In 2014, Gree and the CPSC expanded the recall to include additional models.

Under the recall, consumers were urged to stop using the dehumidifiers immediately and to contact Gree about a refund.

However, that process quickly frustrated customers who contacted Consumerist. Their main complaints were that their refunds were significantly delayed, or that the amount they received didn’t cover the expense of buying a new appliance – when they were able to find any dehumidifiers available in stores at all. In some areas, they were responsible for hefty recycling fees to get rid of the appliances as well.

Of course those complaints came from customers who owned dehumidifiers that hadn’t caught fire. In March 2016, the CPSC fined Gree a record $15.45 million to settle charges that it failed to report fires to the Commission, “knowingly made misrepresentations to CPSC staff,” and put UL safety marks on products that didn’t meet UL standards.

At the time, the agency said that the dehumidifiers had caused approximately $4.5 million in property damage Today, that cost has jumped to nearly $19 million, according to the CPSC’s latest announcement.

Consumers who still own a recalled Gree dehumidifier should contact the company for a refund, and, of course, stop using it.

The dehumidifiers were sold for between $110 and $400 from Jan. 2005 until Aug. 2013 at retailers such as AAFES, HH Gregg, Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe’s, Menards, Mills Fleet Farm, Sam’s Club, Sears, Walmart and other stores nationwide and in Canada, and online at Amazon.com and Ebay.com.

Affected dehumidifiers can be identified by the brand name and pint capacity printed on the front of the dehumidifier, as well as the model number and date code printed on a sticker on the back, front or side of the unit.

The CPSC and Gree’s re-announcement of the massive recall comes less than a month after the agency announced the recall of 3.4 million dehumidifiers made by China-based electronics manufacturer Midea. Those products, sold under brands like GE, Honeywell, Kenmore, and Sunbeam, have been linked to $4.8 million property damage.