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Vornado Recalls 1 Million Heaters

Aug 4, 2004 | The Wichita Eagle

The Andover company will replace models that have caused a few fires. The recall isn't expected to affect Vornado's finances much.

Vornado Air Circulation Systems of Andover on Tuesday announced a recall of as many as 1 million of its portable heaters.

A faulty electrical connection in the heaters could overheat, degrade and, in a few cases, cause a fire, the company said.

The company said it knows of 24 instances in which a heater may have caused a fire during the 13 years in which the heaters were made.

There were no injuries or serious damage during those incidents, said Drayton Alldritt, Vornado's vice president for sales. He didn't know whether any of the incidents were in Kansas.

The recall, made through the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is voluntary. The company will replace the faulty insulated connectors.

It has also redesigned the heaters. The redesign continues to meet Underwriters Laboratories requirements, the company said.

Not all of the company's heaters are being recalled. The models affected are: DVH, EVH, Intellitemp, VH and 180VH models built since 1991.

"I still think we make the safest heaters around," Alldritt said. "The actual numbers are small, but we don't want to take a chance on anyone getting hurt or any more property being damaged."

Alldritt said the company doesn't expect the recall to seriously affect the company financially. The company expects only about 5 to 10 percent of the heaters to actually be shipped back to the factory for repair. The company will pay shipping and repair costs.

The company routinely receives reports of problems when people make warranty claims, Alldritt said.

But it realized that the heaters themselves were causing fires only this year, he said.

Company engineers found the problem with the insulated connector and the company reported it to the Consumer Product Safety Division.

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