Maytag Corp. of Newton, Iowa, is recalling about 1.6 million refrigerators due to an electrical failure in the relay — the component that turns on the refrigerator’s compressor — that can cause overheating and pose a serious fire hazard.
Maytag has received 41 reports of refrigerator relay ignition, including 16 reports of property damage ranging from smoke damage to extensive kitchen damage.
The recall includes certain 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. They have model and serial numbers printed on a label located on the top middle or left upper side of the refrigerator liner and have the following model and serial number combinations:
On 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, and model numbers beginning with ARS, CS, JC, JS, MS, MZ and PS.
On 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, and model numbers beginning with AT, CT, MT and PT.
Refrigerators with freezers on the bottom are not included in the recall.
Manufactured in the U.S., the recalled refrigerators were sold in department and appliance stores and by homebuilders nationwide from January 2001 through January 2004. They sold for between about $350 and $1600.
Consumers who think they may have a refrigerator included in the recall should contact Maytag to find out. If their refrigerator is included in the recall, they can schedule a free in-home repair; they should not return the refrigerator to where it was purchased.
For more information, consumers can call Maytag toll-free at (866) 533-9817, or visit the Web site http://www.repair.maytag.com/.