Generac Recalls Thousands of Generators Amid Hurricane Season Due to Fire Risk

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As the hurricane season continues to wreak havoc, resulting in power outages across the United States, Generac Power Systems is undertaking a recall of thousands of portable generators in light of potential fire and burn risks.

The generators, which have been on sale in major US and Canadian home improvement and hardware stores from April 2011 up until June 2023, are being recalled due to potential defects in the GP15000E and GP17500E units’ fuel tanks. According to a statement issued by the Wisconsin-based company, these fuel tanks are prone to inadequate venting. This defect could cause a build-up of excess fuel vapor pressure when the machines are operating under high ambient temperatures, which would then release the concentrated vapor if opened, creating a substantial risk of fire and subsequent burns.

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In response to the identified flaw, Generac has designed a repair kit, available free of charge to customers.

Previously, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that Generac had decided on this recall following the receipt of over 64,000 portable generators and more than two dozen reports surrounding equipment overheating and pressurizing, often resulting in severe burns. Amongst these, three incidents of severe burn injuries were documented.

The Commission provided further details about the flaw in the design, specifying that the fuel tank’s failure to vent adequately can cause excess pressure build-up in the gas tank, leading it to expel fuel when opened. They are currently advising consumers to halt the usage of the recalled generators and connect with Generac to receive the free repair kit.

The affected generators, which were sold for prices ranging from $3,300 to $3,650 at most home improvement stores, have also prompted an apology from Generac for the inconvenience caused.

The recall timing coincided with the ongoing hurricane season, a time when generators are often crucial in mitigating the aftermath of lost power. The storm season impacts the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea regions, running from June 1 to November 30 each year. As it stands, tropical cyclone Lee has left tens of thousands of individuals without power, as it continues to cause rain, wind, and flooding across parts of Canada’s Atlantic provinces.