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Massive Maytag Refrigerator Recall for Fire Hazard

Mar 10, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Maytag Corporation of Newton, Iowa is issuing an enormous refrigerator recall involving approximately 1.6 million defective refrigerators because of an electrical failure in the refrigerator’s relay that poses a fire hazard, reports Today.  The relay is the component that engages the refrigerator’s compressor

Maytag has received 41 reports of refrigerator relay ignition, said Today.  Of those, 15 reports included property damage that ranged from smoke damage to extensive kitchen damage.  The reports prompted the recall, which was announced by Maytag Corporation and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and involves certain Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Magic Chef, Performa by Maytag, and Crosley brand side-by-side and top-freezer refrigerators which were manufactured in black, bisque, white, and stainless steel.  Refrigerators with freezers on the bottom are not included in the recall.  The recalled refrigerators have model and serial numbers printed on a label located on the top middle or upper left side of the refrigerator liner and bear the following model and serial number combinations:

  • Side-by-side refrigerators:  Serial numbers ending in AA, AC, AE, AG, AJ, AL, AN, AP, AR, AT, AV, AX, CA, CC, CE, CG, CJ, CL, ZB, ZD, ZF, ZH, ZK, ZM, ZQ, ZS, ZU, ZW, ZY, and ZZ; model numbers beginning with ARS, CS, JC, JS, MS, MZ, and PS.
  • Top-freezer refrigerators:  Serial numbers ending in AA, AC, AE, AG, AJ, AL, AN, AP, AR, AT, AV, AX, ZK, ZM, ZQ, ZS, ZU, ZW, ZY, and ZZ; model numbers beginning with AT, CT, MT, and PT.
The recalled Maytag side-by-side and top-freezer refrigerators were manufactured in the U.S. and sold in department and appliance stores and by home builders nationwide from January 2001 through January 2004.  The recalled Maytag refrigerators retailed for between about $350 and $1600.

Consumer Reports said that Maytag and the CPSC are urging consumers to contact Maytag as soon as possible to schedule a free in-home repair and are advised not to return the refrigerator to the place of purchase.  The CPSC is not asking owners to unplug the recalled refrigerators as repairs are expected to be made promptly.  Maytag can be reached toll-free at 1-866-533-9817, or at the firm’s Website at

This is not the first time Maytag has had to issue a large recall over fire hazards in recent years.  Dow Jones reported that Maytag was purchased by the Whirlpool Corporation in 2007 and also noted that Maytag and Samsung Electronics Company, of Korea, issued a recall about 270,000 front-loading washing machines over a fire hazard.  Also, Consumer Reports cited a 2.3 million unit recall of Maytag and Jenn-Air diswashers, which were sold between July 1997 and June 2001, also over fire hazard.  In that case, the recall followed 135 reports of dishwasher fires that were linked to product and/or property damage and, in at least four cases, injuries.

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