Nearly a year after Sears first announced a recall involving about 800,000 Kenmore dehumidifiers due to problems that may cause them to overheat and catch fire, federal safety regulators are warning that reports continue to be received of people suffering personal injury or property damage after using the recalled dehumidifiers.
On July 17 Sears re-announced its Kenmore dehumidifier recall through the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), indicating that at least seven additional reports have been received of the units shorting out and causing fires since the original recall was issued in August 2012.
Among the new reports of problems with Sears Kenmore dehumidifiers is one incident where a consumer suffered severe burns. Property damage was reported in connection with at least three of the incidents reported since the recall, resulting in more than $300,000 in damages.
The new reports raise concerns that many consumers may be unaware that the units were recalled, continuing to use the dehumidifiers without understanding the risk of overheating or catching on fire.
The recall affects about 795,000 35-,50- and 70-pint Kenmore dehumidifiers. The 35-pint units have a model number of 580.54351400 and were manufactured in 2004. The 50-pint dehumidifiers were manufactured in 2003 and have a model number of 580.53509300. The 70-pint units were manufactured in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and have model numbers of 580.53701300, 580.54701400, and 580.54701500, respectively.
The dehumidifiers are white, plastic and stand between 21 and 24 inches tall. They are about 15 inches wide and 13.5 inches in depth. The top front panels have fan and humidity controls and they have front-loading water buckets. Most came with remote controls. The model numbers can be seen on the right side interior if the water bucket is removed.
The dehumidifiers were sold exclusively at Sears and Kmart stores nationwide and online at Sears.com and Kmart.com for between $140 and $220 from 2003 through 2009.
The CPSC recommends that consumers immediately stop using the dehumidifiers, unplug them, and contact the company at the number or website below to receive a free Sears gift card for use at any Sears or Kmart store or on their websites. The card amount will range from $75 to $100 depending on the capacity and year of the dehumidifier. Customers may also receive a check for the same amount instead of a gift card.
Consumers with questions can call (855) 400-4641 or visit the website at www.kenmoredehumidifierrecall.com.