Recall: Electric Space Heaters Recalled by Patton

April 18, 1984  
Release # 84-025

Voluntary Recall Of Electric Space Heaters

Washington, D.C.-- In cooperation with the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Patton Electric Company, New Haven, Indiana, today announced the voluntary recall because of a possible fire hazard of approximately 102,000 "Patton" and "Sears" brand portable electric space heaters made in Hong Kong. The CPSC has under investigation six incidents of fire, including one involving the death of an 18 month old baby, in houses where these heaters were being used.

The electric heaters being recalled are small portable plastic models and have a "slide-type" control switch on the top. Consumers may identify the recalled units by looking at the bottom label of their heater for either Patton Model HF-10 or Sears Model 201-7208 and the words "Made in Hong Kong". Only the "Patton Heater Plus Fan", model HF-10 and the "Sears Heater Plus Fan", model 201-7208 are involved in the recall.

Consumers owning these heaters are urged to stop using them and to unplug them from electrical outlets. Owners should call Patton at l-800-528-6600 Ext. 1722 (Arizona: l-800-352-0458 Ext. 1722; Alaska: l-800-528-0470 Ext. 1722) to verify that their heater is one of the recalled models and to obtain instructions for returning the heater to Patton for replacement at no cost.

The heaters were sold nationwide between August 1983 and March 1984 in large chain stores including Sears, Roebuck & Co., as well as in small retail outlets. The units sold for under $30.00.

Patton halted distribution of the heaters after reports from consumers indicated a possible fire hazard. Patton has notified all the retail outlets which sold the heaters to remove them from sale. Consumers who returned warranty cards on the suspect heaters will be notified of the recall directly by Patton.

The company believes the potential fire hazard is related to the sliding type switch assembly and not to the heater itself. This switch, which utilizes a diode, was installed only in the heater models being recalled. All other Patton models are manufactured by Patton in the U.S. and have proven rotary dial temperature controls.

Under the recall program, Patton Electric will modify and upgrade all suspect model heaters with a new rotary dial switch. This type of construction has been safely used for more than three years in other Patton heaters. The upgrading as well as all transportation charges will be at no cost to the consumer.

Information concerning this recall is also available to consumers by calling CPSC's toll-free Hotline at 800-638-CPSC. The teletypewriter number for the hearing impaired is (301) 595-7054.