Gree USA, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese appliance company, is issuing a recall of 1.56 million dehumidifiers due to fire and burn hazards.
There have been 23 fires, 688 overheating incidents, and $168,000 in property damage linked to the recalled dehumidifiers, according to Consumer Product Safety Commission.
These dehumidifiers were widely available at various stores across the country including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, Sam’s Club, Sears, and Walmart from 2011 to 2014. The price range for these products was between $110 and $400.
42 models of dehumidifiers produced from January 2011 to February 2014 are being recalled. The affected brands are Kenmore, GE, SoleusAir, Norpole, and Seabreeze. A total of 1,560,000 units are impacted.
The CPSC says if your dehumidifier’s model number matches those that have been recalled, stop using it immediately. Unplug it and contact Gree to receive a refund.
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Gree to pay criminal fine
On April 24, 2023, Gree was sentenced to pay a $500,000 criminal fine after pleading guilty to failing to notify the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that millions of dehumidifiers it sold to U.S. consumers were defective and could catch fire.
As part of a resolution totaling $91 million with three related Gree companies, a fine was imposed, and restitution payments to victims were included. This marks the first time a corporate criminal enforcement action has been taken under the CPSA.
The Gree Companies, which include Gree Zhuhai, Gree Hong Kong, and Gree USA, were aware that their dehumidifiers were faulty, did not meet safety standards, and could potentially ignite. However, they did not inform the CPSC about this issue for several months, as per court documents.