4 Ways to Find Out if Your Appliance is Subject to Recall

fire alarmMany people still own home appliances that were at some point were subject to recall. And it is not surprising, because no one wakes up in the morning with a thought “hey, I should probably look up if any of my appliances got recalled.” We go on with our lives having trust in manufacturers and not thinking about hidden hazards. Discount Appliance Repair encourages all homeowners to periodically check their appliances to make sure none of them have been recalled.

 

Manufacturers may recall products voluntary when they notice malfunctions or defects, but if they fail to do so, government agencies might request them to issue a recall if significant amount of customer complaints is received. It often takes several people to get hurt before a recall is issued, because that’s how defects are usually discovered.

There are several government agencies responsible for protecting consumer safety and issuing product recalls. They include:

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS)
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

CPSC is the organization charged with protecting US consumers from “risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products,” which include appliances.  So before hiring your local Virginia appliance repair specialist, be sure to check if your appliance is subject to recall. This could be the reason why it broke in the first place.

Large recalls by major manufacturers, such as Maytag or LG usually get a lot of publicity and reach most consumers. However, a recall of something small like a power strip can often go unnoticed.

There are several ways to check if one of your appliances got recalled.

1.       CPSC website

CPSC maintains a page listing all household products recalls from the year 2000. You can search the database here by such variables as date, product type, company, hazard, product category, description, etc. This process might seem cumbersome, but it’s worth the effort.

2.       Recalls.gov

This is a government website that provides an easy access to all kind of issued recalls. You can search the databases using keywords or you can sign up to receive email notifications from a specific government agency issuing a recall. The problem with this approach is that there is no option to receive emails only about the products you own. You can choose from different categories, such as “child products” or “outdoor products,” but with dozens recalls issued every day, you’ll be flooded with emails.

3.       Manufacturer’s website

Another way to check the recall status is to look on the manufacturer’s website, but considering how many appliances we own, this might take even longer. To simplify the process, you can sign up for emails from manufacturers to make sure any important product information gets delivered to your inbox. This works great in theory, but in reality not every manufacturer has a separate email list for recalls, so you’ll end up getting spammy marketing emails.

4.       Google Alerts

A better alternative to company emails is Google Alerts. In case you are not familiar, it’s a system that will send you an email whenever your selected keyword is found anywhere online. You can set up Google Alerts for each appliance manufacturer name + the word “recall” + optional model number. It will look something like “Samsung TV recall” or “Samsung MN1258769K recall.” This way whenever all these words appear online in an article or a press release, you get notified.

What happens if you find that one of your appliances is being recalled?

  • Stop using the product immediately
  • Carefully read the reason and conditions of the recall
  • Before shipping the product, double check the model number to make sure it qualifies for a refund
  • Use the specified method of shipping; you are likely to get reimbursed for shipping costs.
  • Don’t forget to include the refund form with your shipment
  • The manufacturer may issue a full or partial refund in the form of cash or store credit. It may also repair and return your appliance or send you a new one. The conditions differ with every manufacturer.

Besides appliances, keep an eye on food and medicine recalls, because these are the products we use most often. Also, don’t throw away unopened mail assuming it’s junk. If you registered any of your appliances online, manufacturers might send you a recall notice in the mail. Protect yourself and your family, and for any Virginia appliance repair or installation needs, keep in mind Discount Appliance Repair.