Consumer Alert: Millions of Home Dehumidifiers Recalled

PHOTO: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today issued another recall for in-home dehumidifiers like the one seen in this photo.PlayCPSC
WATCH Recall Roulette: The Flawed System Meant to Protect Your Family

Dear Readers: If you’ve got a home dehumidifier, now is the time to check it out. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today issued yet another recall of millions of dehumidifiers that can overheat and start a fire in your home.

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This latest major recall affects about 3.4 million Midea dehumidifiers of various sizes sold under dozens of brand names including household giants like GE, Kenmore and Frigidaire. The dehumidifiers were manufactured by GD Midea Air Conditioning Equipment Ltd. of China and sold at Lowes, Menards, PC Richard and other stores nationwide from January 2003 through December 2013, according to the CPSC.

Consumers can check HERE for the full list of brand names and to see if their dehumidifier is part of this latest recall.

If you have one, immediately turn it off, unplug it and contact GD Midea for a replacement or partial refund.

This is serious stuff, folks. The dehumidifiers involved in this latest recall are implicated in 38 reports of smoke and fire and about $4.8 million property damage.

And in recent years, the CPSC has recalled millions of other dehumidifiers after numerous reports of overheating and at least 121 fires.

With so many homeowners running these appliances around-the-clock in their basements, away from view, it’s easy to see the potential danger of using a recalled unit.

Just as troubling, ABC News found recalled dehumidifiers are easily obtainable on the secondary market. In the 2014 ABC News "20/20" investigation “Recall Roulette,” ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross exposed how thousands of recalled, dangerous dehumidifiers and other unsafe products were still making their way into American homes.

So don’t assume that a resale item is safe. There is little policing of these products.

It can be hard to wade through the myriad recall announcements. You might be surprised to find recalled products in your own home – just as the ABC News Fixer did in 2014.

Here’s where to find recall information for dehumidifiers or any products you’re thinking of buying, selling or using in your home:

- For U.S. recalls of consumer products, search recalls at SaferProducts.gov

- For advice on baby and children’s products and safety, check out the nonprofit advocacy group Kids In Danger

- For food, drug and pet food recalls, search the FDA's recall website HERE

- For automotive recalls, search SaferCar.gov

-The ABC News Fixer

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