CLEVELAND - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall Thursday for 1.3 million GE dishwashers because of a fire hazard.
The recall follows a months-long investigation by NewsChannel5's On Your Side Investigators and other Scripps stations, though it is not clear if the investigation was related to the recall.
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"This recall is very important," said Inez Moore Tenenbaum, chair of the CPSC.
"There have been 15 reports of heating elements in the dishwashers failing, causing 7 fires, 3 of which caused extensive property damage," Moore Tenenbaum said. "Fortunately there have been no injuries, but we need consumers to respond to this recall right away."
The recall involves GE, GE Adora, GE Eterna, GE Profile and Hotpoint brand dishwashers, sold between March 2006 and August 2009. The models sold for between $350 and $850, with exteriors of black, white, bisque or stainless steel.
The CPSC said consumer should immediately stop using these recalled models and disconnect the dishwashers. Consumers should make sure they tell family members so the dishwashers do not get plugged back in.
GE has set up a hotline for consumers to call for a repair kit, or to get a rebate to use for the purchase of a new dishwasher. The number is (866) 918-8760, and will be answered between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Consumers also can visit a website for this GE recall at www.geappliances.com/recall .
Consumer Advocate Jenn Strathman and others in the Scripps Investigative Team have been working for months on the possible causes of dishwasher fires.
The investigators dug back into two years worth of data. They saw a pattern and filed an appeal with the CPSC to get more data, going back to 2005. As of Thursday, the investigative team still was waiting for that data to be delivered through a Freedom Of Information Act request.
Some consumers told the investigative team they believe other brands pose the same fire hazard as the one that prompted the GE recall.
The On Your Side Investigators won't stop digging on this story until they know if other dishwashers have the same fire hazard, and families are safe.
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