Appliance Recall Check

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Imagine that the first time that you are aware of an appliance recall is when the fire marshal tells you after your house fire.

Maytag’s spring 2010 voluntary dishwasher recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was featured in almost every news outlet. The information was important and timely, but not many consumers ran over to their appliances and checked if their make and model of dishwasher was “on the list.”

Since 1974, the CPSC has been directed to protect American citizens from dangerous items in their homes. Once a defect is identified, a manufacturer must recall those items and usually fix or replace them for free.

“Recalled appliances are a major consumer problem. Approximately 20% to 25% of houses that have had their appliances checked for recalls have had at least one recalled appliance” says Dan Howard, President of Howard Home Testing and Inspections of Western PA. “Our company and many other home inspection firms throughout the country provide Appliance Recall Checks at no additional cost to home buyers as a part of a home inspection. We absorb the cost because we believe recalled appliances are a major home safety hazard.”


Some of the product recalls relate to functionality, but more than 80% of appliance recalls are the result of improperly installed wiring, overheating motors/relays or other component failures that you can’t see.

 Fire in a Recalled Cloths Dryer

The bonus for consumers when the recall relates to functionality is that this may be a great way to have the defect corrected or the appliance replaced at the manufacturer’s expense.                                                                                                             

In the spring 2010, Maytag dishwasher recall, consumers are advised to visit to determine if the dishwasher in their home is one of the 1.7 million potential fire hazard dishwasher units sold and under this specific recall. The whole process is complicated by the fact that the Maytag brand is sold under multiple manufacturer names and a consumer would need to recognize their dishwasher with brands including  Maytag®, Amana®, Jenn-Air®, Admiral®, Magic Chef®, Performa by Maytag® and Crosley® 

There is an amazing surprise waiting for consumers when they go to the Maytag company website. There are previous Maytag recalls for refrigerators, freezers, cook tops, ranges, water heaters, washers and dryers listed on the site as the dishwasher recall. By comparison, automobile recalls are easy for consumers.  The car is registered to the customer and the customer receives the notice. Appliance recalls are not that simple.     

The CPSC website home page assures consumers that “You can find information on over 4,500 product recalls and recall alerts using the various searches on this page”.  That is true.  The problem with the manufacturer and CPSC sites is that a consumer must wade through each of the individual recalls to find out if their dishwasher or other appliance is a potential hazard. This type of search is like searching the list of phone numbers in a phone book to find a specific name instead of looking up the name of the person.    

There is a solution that allows consumers to search for recalls on each of their household appliances including heating, cooling, hot water, laundry and built in kitchen appliances in one, easy location. Think of this database as your “phone book” for recalls.  allows for entering the brand, model and serial number of all of the household appliances in a residential home.  Within two business days, the service will return a report containing information about recalls. If there is a defect, the report will include:     

  • Nature of the Recall
  • Where the product was sold 
  • How to remedy the defect 
  • How to get the item repaired/replaced ( usually for free )  

The report also includes the manufacturer’s contact details, the business hours of the manufacturer and what to do if the manufacturer fails to respond to a claim. 

 Appliance Recall Check is a service providing database search of existing Consumer Product Safety Commission appliance recalls based upon model and serial numbers. This service allows a single entry of Make, Model and Serial numbers in list form as opposed to consumers searching multitudes of individual recalls for each category of individual appliances.

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