Gree Electric Appliances, Inc., is recalling 1.56 million dehumidifiers sold between 2011 and 2014 under brand names like Kenmore and GE due to fire and burn hazards, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Gree, based in Zhuhai, China, has received reports of at least 23 fires, 688 incidents of overheating, and $168,000 in property damage with the recalled dehumidifiers, the CPSC said in a news release.
The recall involves 42 models of dehumidifiers manufactured in China between January 2011 and February 2014 and sold under the brand names Kenmore, GE, SoleusAir, Norpole and Seabreeze.
The dehumidifiers, which cost between $110 and $400, were sold between 2011 and 2014 at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, Sam’s Club, Sears, Walmart and other stores nationwide, the CPSC said.
Consumers can find the model number and date code on a sticker on the unit. Anyone with an affected unit should stop using it immediately and contact Gree for a refund.
Gree USA, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the Chinese appliance company, was sentenced in April to pay a $500,000 criminal fine after pleading guilty to failing to notify the CPSC that millions of dehumidifiers it sold were defective and could catch fire, according to a news release by the Department of Justice.
The fine was part of a $91 million resolution with three related Gree companies — one based in California, another in Hong Kong, and the other one in Zhuhai, China. The three companies knew their dehumidifiers were defective, failed to meet safety standards and posed a fire hazard, but the companies did not report that information to the CPSC for months, according to court filings cited by the DOJ.