GE air conditioner heater fire recall

On June 16, 2011 Health Canada has recalled the GE Zoneline® Air Conditioners and Heaters.

This recall involves GE Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners ("PTACs") and packaged terminal heat pumps manufactured between approximately January 2010 and March 2011. The product is most often used in apartment buildings and commercial space.

The GE logo is affixed to the control panel door. Serial and model numbers are printed on the rating plate. Consumers will need to remove the front panel to locate the rating plate.

GE models AZ41 and AZ61 with the following serial numbers (begins with) are included in this recall:

  • AT, DT, FT, GT, HT, LT, MT, RT,
  • ST, TT, VT, ZT, AV, DV and FV

What is the danger?

An electrical component in the heating system can fail, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

General Electric and Sharp have received a total of four reports of incidents involving smoke and/or fire with the air conditioning and heating units, one of which occurred in Canada. In two of the reported incidents, fire extended beyond the air conditioning and heating unit, resulting in property damage. However, no injuries have been reported.

At time of the recall, Health Canada has not received any reports of incidents and injuries related to the use of theses heating units.

What should I do?

You should immediately stop using the air conditioning and heating units in the heat mode and contact Williams corporation to schedule a free repair. You should confirm whether you have one of the impacted units by checking the model number, as well as matching both the model number and serial numbers provided.

For more information, you may contact Williams corporation at 1-888-209-0999 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or by e-mail moc.cavhsmailliw|llacerenilenoz#moc.cavhsmailliw|llacerenilenoz or visit the firm's website.

How many of these were sold and where?

Approximately 3,600 of the affected heating units were sold through Williams and authorized representatives, HVAC distributor installers, and contractors across Canada.

The affected heating units were sold from April 2010 to April 2011.

These units were manufactured in China. The manufacturer is Sharp Corporation of Japan. The distributor is Gordon R. Williams Corporation of Mississauga, Ontario.

What happens when there is an insurance claim involving one of these units? If you used a general contractor then that insurance policy could be brought into the mix. Your commercial general liability (CGL) policy for the building damage and/or bodily injury would also be regarded as a response to a claim. The insurance company would then look at the cause. Now your insurance company is going to seek claim repayment from the manufacturer and/or distributor.

There can be specific limitations on the policy for recall of products and higher deductibles for property damage and for injury. It is important if you understand your policy and control your insurance. Talk to your agent or broker as to what risk you face with your business.