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Maytag Recalls Dishwashers Due to Fire Hazard


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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in cooperation with Maytag Corp., of Newton, Iowa, announced a voluntary recall of approximately 2.3 million Maytag¢Ãƒ§ and Jenn-Air¢Ãƒ§ under-counter or portable plastic tub dishwashers due to a defect that constitutes a fire hazard.

According to the manufacturer, the liquid rinse dispenser can allow rinse-aid to leak and come into contact with the dishwasher's internal wiring and cause it to short-circuit and ignite. Maytag reports that it has received 135 reports of dishwasher fires, resulting in product and/or property damage. Four injuries have been reported, including three reports of smoke inhalation and one serious hand laceration when operating a fire extinguisher to put out a fire in the dishwasher.

The dishwashers involved were manufactured in the U.S. and sold through department and appliance stores and homebuilders nationwide from July 1997 through June 2001 for between $370 and $800. They have black, white, almond, bisque and stainless steel front panels. The model and serial numbers are printed on a label located on the dishwasher's plastic frame on top of, or to the left of, the door opening.

Consumers should immediately stop using these dishwashers, disconnect the electric supply, by shutting off the fuse or circuit breaker controlling it, and inform all users of the dishwasher about the risk of fire. Consumers can contact Maytag for either a free in-home repair, or a $75 cash back reimbursement following the purchase of a new Maytag®, Jenn-Air¢Ãƒ§, Whirlpool® or KitchenAid¢Ãƒ§ dishwasher. Consumers should not return the dishwasher to the retailer where it was purchased, as retailers are not prepared to take units back.

For more information, contact Maytag Corporation at (800) 675-0535 anytime, or visit the firm's Web site at www.repair.maytag.com.

For a list of model numbers and serial numbers involved, as well as pictures of the recalled products, click here.

Editor's note: This tip courtesy of Terence McCann, Harbor Light Inspection Services, Sagamore Hills, OH.

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