Due to an electrical failure, Maytag has expanded its initial March recall of 1.6 million refrigerators to an additional 42,000, now including refrigerators under the Maytag, Magic Chef and Performa by Maytag and Crosley umbrellas. The failure is being cited as a potential fire hazard which causes the compressor to kick on at random and may lead to overheating.
The recall in March was issued after Maytag, now owned by Whirlpool Corp., received 41 reports of refrigerators catching fire, 16 of which lead to property damage. Since then, Maytag has received an additional 23 reports of fridges catching fire, 4 of which have lead to property or smoke damage.
The AP reports that, "The refrigerators in question are side-by-side and top freezer refrigerators made in black, bisque, white and stainless steel. They cost between $350 and $1,600 and were sold from September 2000 to May 2004." Maytag says that bottom-freezer models are safe to continue using.
Maytag has issued a statement imploring consumers to call (866) 533-9817 to schedule a free in-home repair rather than returning their defective appliances and purchasing new ones.
All damages and injuries resulting from a fire related to a Maytag refrigerator can be reported at the CPSC’s website: www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx