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Maytag Corp. today issued a voluntary recall of over 1.6 million refrigerators sold nationwide that can potentially pose a fire hazard, and have actually resulted in fires and property damage.
As noted by Maytag in its recall notice, the specific hazard is that "[a]n electrical failure in the relay, the component that turns on the refrigerator's compressor, can cause overheating and pose a serious fire hazard."
The recall covers specific "Maytag®, Jenn-Air®, Amana®, Admiral®, Magic Chef®, Performa by Maytag® and Crosley® brand side by side and top freezer refrigerators. The affected refrigerators were manufactured in black, bisque, white and stainless steel." However, refrigerators with freezers on the bottom are not included in the recall.
If you have one of the above listed models, Maytag has a model/serial diagram that can help consumers determine whether their particular fridge is on recall by checking the model and serial numbers on their refrigerator at home.
At this time, Maytag indicates it has received 41 reports of the relay actually igniting, with 16 reports of resulting property damage from smoke or fire. The last time Maytag indicates it had recalls was in 2007 when the company recalled specific front-loading washers and dishwasher models.
If you own a Maytag refrigerator, Maytag suggests that consumers immediately contact the company toll-free anytime at (866) 533-9817 and they will confirm whether the refrigerator is included in the recall, and, if so, send someone out for an in-home repair. Maytag indicates that consumers should not return their units to retailers.