Dehumidifiers are designed to regulate the amount of moisture in a home. When operating normally, they protect a home against mold, mildew, and excess moisture, all of which can cause damage to building materials and exacerbate allergy symptoms. What dehumidifiers are not supposed to do is overheat and ignite, but that is exactly what a millions of faulty dehumidifiers are doing.
This past November, Midea issued a recall of 3.4 million dehumidifiers due to fire and burn hazards. The machines in questions have started fires resulting in major property damage. The recall came less than a month after the Consumer Product Safety Commission re-announced the Gree Electric Appliance’s dehumidifier recall for the fourth time in as many years. The latest recall covers 2.5 million dehumidifiers linked to 450 fires and over $19 million in property damages
CPSC first announced the recall in 2013 following multiple reports of units overheating and igniting. Regulators urged consumers to immediately stop using all dehumidifiers, check their model numbers, and contact Gree about a refund for defective units.
Unfortunately, the recall process has been riddled with issues, including complaints from owners about significantly delayed responses, incomplete refunds, and issues with recycling the units. Additionally, many recalled dehumidifiers entered secondary market according to ABC News’s Recall Roulette.” Many who bought these second-hand units were unaware of their known hazards.
Meanwhile, the CPSC fined Gree a record $15.45 million in March 2016 to settle charges related to their failure to report fires misrepresent to CPSC staff, and false labeling.
Consumers who have not received a refund from Gree or Midea can contact the CPSC for help at 1-800-638-2772. For a full list of recalled units, please visit this website.
Additionally, while no class action lawsuit currently exists over property damages or personal injuries allegedly caused by Midea dehumidifiers, individuals may still seek reparations. Consumers suffering injuries or damages by a defective product should contact a skilled personal injury attorney team who can ensure they have a full and complete understanding of their legal rights and options.