2017 Recap: Electrical Device Recalls
During the past two decades, recalls of electronics and electric devices have steadily increased. 2017 was no different. Stricter regulations and easier reporting have forced manufacturers to stop on top of product safety.
Of all the electrical items recalled in 2017, the lithium-ion battery led the charts. The problems these batteries pose is consistent among manufacturers and products: the batteries overheat, catch fire, and (in some cases) explode. Eleven hoverboard manufacturers had to issue recalls because of these batteries; three computer manufacturers issued recalls; and one electric window covering manufacturer and electric skateboard manufacturer had to issue recalls.
Why all these lithium-ion batteries have failed is not because they’re a new technology. Lithium-ion batteries have been around for decades. Their failure has more to do with poor quality control, poorly designed circuitry, and manufacturers failing to cool the batteries, which are known to degrade in high temperatures. Recalls for lithium-ion batteries came scattered through the year.
The award for Impeccable Timing of a Recall goes to Nantucket Distributing. Nantucket issued a recall of its pre-lit, artificial Christmas tree on January 12. Conveniently, the recall came right after the 2016 holiday and post-Christmas discount shopping season ended.
We’ve put together a list of all electrical devices recalled in 2017. We’ve only included residential equipment in this list, so you will not find recalls for vehicles or medical devices here. We have also only included electrical products that have been recalled due to failure of their electrical system. Thus, we haven’t listed recalls such as Southwire’s Globe and Snow Globe stake lights. (The globes on these items refracted light, which could single or melt items in close proximity. Obviously, this posed a fire hazard.)
For a full list of items recalled in the United States of America, visit the website for the United States Product Safety Commission.
2017 Recalls for Electric Equipment
- Vacuum Cleaners — Royal Appliance recalled 149,000 Dirt Devil Pet vacuums because the prongs in the electrical cord can detach and remain the outlet.
Electrical / Lighting
- Adaptors — Barns & Noble has recalled the casing on the power adaptor for its NOOK Tablet 7. The casing can crack when the adaptor is plugged in, which puts consumers at risk for electric shock. Power adaptors sold with LectroFan Sound Machines have also been recalled. ASTI issued the recall the adaptors’ casing can break when plugged in, exposing the prongs and posing an electrical shock hazard. In December, Netgear issued a recall for the power adaptors to its outdoor Arlo cameras. Water can leak into the “waterproof” connector and cause a short circuit, fire, melting, and overheating.
- Batteries — Springs Window Fashions LLC recalled Zeus lithium batteries in some of the company’s motorized window coverings. The batteries overheat, leak, and discharge, posing fire and burn hazards.
- Fans — RONA, Inc. recalled certain Uberhaus ceiling fans because of a defect that can cause injury or damage during a fire.
- Lights — DVI Lighting Inc. has recalled its Semi-flush mounted medium base luminaries. The wiring can overheat, which poses a risk for a short circuit and a fire.
- Nightlights — Skip Hop recalled its Moonlight & Melodies The problem is that the nightlights’ power adaptors can break, which poses the risk of shock. AM Conservation Group likewise recalled its Model 2017-G nightlights because they can overheat. In February, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts recalled its Happy Holidays! Mickey Mouse Nightlights. Liquid from the nightlight can leak from the nightlight and into the electrical outlet, which poses a fire hazard.
- Outlet Converters — Ningbo Litesun Electric recalled its outlet converters, sold through Home Depot, because they reverse electrical polarity, which creates a risk of shock and fire.
- Portable Generators — MWE Investments recalled its Westinghouse Portable Generators, as the generators can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.
- Cellphone Batteries — Replacement batteries that FedEx Supply Chain used to refurbish Samsung Galaxy Note 4s can overheat. Apparently, some of the batteries FedEx used were counterfeit.
- Clamp Meters — Digital clamp meters produced by Extech were recalled because they fail to provide accurate voltage readings.
- Laptop Batteries — Sony has continued its recall for Panasonic batteries used in Sony laptops because the lithium-ion batteries can overheat. In January, HP expanded a recall for lithium-ion batteries in HP and Compaq Notebook computers because the batteries overheat. Toshiba did the same earlier in the month for lithium-ion batteries used in laptops for the same reason.
- Science Kits — Little Passports recalled Science Expeditions Northern Lights Kits. The battery packs overheat, posing a burn hazard.
- Solar Panels — Bosch Solar Services recalled 28,000 roof-mounted solar panels because the panels overheat. SolarWorld recalled its Amphenol PV cable connectors, which it sold with solar panels. The connectors can develop cracks, which let moisture in and therefore threaten electrical shock.
- Christmas Trees — Nantucket Distributing issued a recall of its prelit, artificial Christmas tree because the fuse can overheat and blow, which poses a fire hazard.
Food and Water
- Filtered Water Dispensers — Nestle Waters North America recalled its AccuPure floor standing filtered water dispenser. The units can overheat and smoke.
- Food Dehydrators — Greenfield World Trade recalled its EZDRY Food Dehydrators because the units overheat.
Heating & Air Conditioning
- Air Conditioners — Carrier, Bryant, and Fast have recalled certain Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner models because their power cords can overheat, which poses a fire hazard.
- Air Handlers — Goodman has issued a recall for certain wall- and ceiling-mounting air handling units that are commonly installed in apartment or condominium units. The units’ disconnects may not disable the power, which puts people servicing the unit at risk of shock.
- Furnaces — Goodman, Amana, and Daikin recalled 80 percent of their gas furnaces due to an electrical shock hazard.
- Heat Pumps — Carrier recalled some of its 2 to 5 ton Carrier Greenspeed™ and Bryant Evolution Extreme™ heat pumps because they can overheat. Carrier, Bryant, and Fast have also recalled certain Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps because the power cord can also overheat.
- Space Heaters — Lifesmart recalled Lifepro Portable Space Heaters because the back panel can detach, which poses a risk for electric shock.
- Thermostats — Voltage thermostats sold by Garrison, Maison, NOMA, RONA, Stelpro, and UPM were recalled because they can overheat, smoke, melt, and cause property damage.
Household Accessories / Lighting
- Door Chimes — Swann has recalled certain models of its wireless door chimes. The back cover can detach from the units, which exposes electrical parts that can shock users.
- Lamps — Michaels has recalled three models of its Rock Salt Lamps because the cover grill can overheat and ignite, putting consumers at risk of electric shock and fire. A few days before Michaels issued their recall, Curio Design recalled about 1,500 modular light kits and bases. The lights can crack during assembly, and the bases have faulty wiring. West Elm recalled its Table Lamps because the wire running through the lamp can cut or fray the adjustable joint, putting consumers at risk of shock. Also, earlier in the year, Williams-Sonoma recalled its Rejuvenation Wall Sconces because the wiring in them can fray, posing a shock hazard.
- Motion Seats — Fisher-Price recalled various models of its Soothing Motion Seats because the motor housing can overheat, posing a fire hazard.
- Dishwashers — BSH Home Appliances recalled 469,000 dishwashers because the power cords they produced overheat. The recall affects dishwashers from Bosch®, Gaggenau®, Jenn-Air®, Kenmore®, and Thermador®.
- Stoves — Arçelik A.S. recalled its Blomberg and Summit electric range stoves. Due to incorrectly installed electrical system, the stove can become energized, which can shock or electrocute people. One death was reported due to this issue.
- Bug Zappers — R & D Products recalled its Outxpro Mosquito Zapper LED light bulbs because the base of the LED bulb can separate from the connector, posing the risk of an electrical shock. The zappers were sold through Amazon.com.
- Extension Cords — The Canadian Tire Corporation, Ltd., recalled certain of its Mastercraft brand outdoor extension cords. The manufacturer improperly installed the unit’s prongs on these cords, which can cause the female end of the electric outlet to spark.
- Lawn Mowers — Hongkong Sun Rise Trading recalled its cordless electric lawn mowers because its electrical system can short circuit and catch fire.
- Swimming Pool Motors — Nidec Motor recalled some of its programmable, variable-speed swimming pool motors because they are not properly grounded. The affected units have “Emerson” or “EcoTech EZ” printed on the control box.
- Adjustable Beds — Customatic Beds recalled its adjustable beds because the bed’s outlets were wired incorrectly. The units pose an electrical shock hazard.
- E-Cigs — Firewood recalled its Firewood 4 vaporizers because the electrical system is not wired correctly, and an electrical short can occur, posing the risk of fire.
- Handheld Massagers — HoMedics recalled their handheld massagers due to the fact that the massagers’ cords can break and pose electrical and burn hazards.
- Lift Chairs — La-Z-Boy issued a recall for the power supply covers on certain lift chair models. The covers can become detached, which poses a risk of electric shock.
- Fire Alarms — Honeywell International recalled its SWIFT® wireless gateway, which it sold with its fire alarm systems. The SWIFT® systems fail to communicate with the fire alarms, which means that the fire alarms might not go off if the system detects a fire.
- Battery Chargers — Performance Designed Products recalled its XBOX ONE 2X Smart Chargers battery chargers for XBOX ONE game controllers. The battery chargers can overheat and damage the game controllers or burn consumers.
- Hoverboards — Thousands of hoverboards were recalled in 2017 from eleven different manufacturers due to explosion and fire hazards when these products’ ion lithium batteries get too hot. Manufacturers who recalled hoverboards include Dollar Mania, Drone Nerds, Go Wheels, iHoverboard, iLive, iRover, Salvage World, Smart Balance, Sonic Smart, Tech Drift, and Vecaro.
- Remote Controlled Vehicles — Electronic speed control devices in various ECX remote controlled vehicles were recalled because the devices can short circuit.
- Skateboards — Boosted has recalled its Electric Skateboards due to safety concerns about the skateboards’ lithium ion batteries. The batteries can overheat and smoke.