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Jed Boal ReportingGeneral Electric recalls 2.5 million dishwashers because of a potential fire hazard. GE received nearly 200 complaints of overheating, including 12 fires caused by the washers. Nancy Nord of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says, "Liquid rinse aid can leak onto the dishwasher's internal wiring and cause a fire. There have been numerous reports of fire and property damage, so consumers should take action right away."
The recall includes dishwashers sold under the brands Eterna, GE, GE Profile, GE Monogram, Hotpoint, and Sears-Kenmore. They were sold between September 1997 and December 2001. They cost about $400.
Consumers should stop using them and contact the company for a free repair or a rebate towards a new dishwasher. GE did not return our calls or answer our questions about how long that would take.
General Electric had a problem with fiery dishwashers in the ‘90s too. In 1992, it became aware of fire, smoking and melting related to the energy saver slide switch on several models. The company did not report the problem for six years. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says GE ultimately paid a $1 million fine for not reporting the defect in a timely manner.
The CPSC says GE came to the commission this time to address the problem. The state fire marshal says six fires were started by dishwashers in Utah during the last three years. The brand of the dishwashers is unknown, but losses totaled nearly $70,000. Nearly half of all kitchen fires in that time period started in the oven.
Information about what to do if you have one of these machines is available by following the link at the right or by calling 1-877-607-6395.