By Sarah Falson
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Whirlpool has recalled 2.3 million Maytag and Jenn-Air-branded dishwashers in the USA after 135 reports of fires, plus three cases of smoke inhalation and one serious hand laceration while operating a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
According to a voluntary recall notice issued by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, liquid rinse-aid can leak from its dispenser and come in contact with the dishwasher’s internal wiring, which can then short-circuit and ignite.
According to Whirlpool Australia, local retailers and consumers have nothing to worry about, as the affected dishwashers manufactured at the Maytag plant at Newton, Iowa are not sold in Australia.
“This does not affect Australia or New Zealand, as Maytag Australia has never sourced dishwashers from the US,” said Whirlpool senior category manager, dishwashing, Aaron Drummond.
“Maytag dishwashers sold in Australia and New Zealand are made in Italy and have never experienced any quality issues. The European models that we take, do not share any similarities to the US platform, as Australian and European requirements in regard to product dimensions and specifications, are completely different to those in the US.”
To remedy the situation, Maytag in the USA is offering a free in-home repair, or a $US75 cash reimbursement should consumers wish to purchase a different model.
“Consumers should not return the dishwasher to the retailer where it was purchased, as retailers are not prepared to take units back,” said the announcement.
A similar document on Maytag’s USA repairs website says that “The safety of our customers is Maytag Corporation’s top priority. We conduct extensive product testing during all phases of development.”
The affected dishwashers were sold in department and appliance stores and by homebuilder-stores in the USA July 1997 to June 2001, for between $US370 and $US800.