ACCC Issues Warning Over Deadly Heaters

ACCC Issues Warning Over Deadly Heaters

Australia’s consumer watchdog has once again called for caravanners who may have a dangerous water heater in their leisure vehicle.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) encourages consumers to look for Suburban-branded dangerous dual fuel electric and gas heaters prior to embarking on post-COVID lockdown holidays.

There is a concern that over half off these units can release deadly carbon monoxide odourless during the gas mode operation.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a terrifying and potentially deadly situation. It’s important to be aware of the signs so you can protect yourself from this hazard, as exposure may lead not only to severe chronic illness or injury but also death in some cases!

This is quite alarming, as at present there are over 8300 people who have not been able to register their heating units in order for them be inspected free of charge.

The risk of failure being so high because of the major defect, the ACCC is concerned that owners may have no idea about the recall and make use of their motorhome or caravan without checking that they are safe to use.

“Consumers should not use the affected water heaters in the gas mode under any circumstances, even if they have a carbon monoxide detector,” ACCC vice chair Delia Rickard stated.

“It’s very important to check your recreational vehicle or caravan’s water heater as soon as possible as there is a significant risk of injury or death from this product.”

Carbon monoxide is not only invisible but also has no smell and does not interact with other chemicals. It can explode when it comes in contact sparks or flame, so extreme caution should be exercised if one has one of the affected units.

Water heaters are installed in new condition with the vehicles between May 1, 2018 until September 25, 2019 or purchased online and later installed.

Consumers can determine whether their heater has been affected by opening the external doors to access the hot water supply and examining the model and serial number on the right side.

Owners with an affected heater should urgently contact Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure on 02 9645 7685 or email [email protected] who will arrange for a licensed gas fitter to inspect it free of charge.

It is imperative that all affected units be checked.

The customer will not be charged for any expenses associated with the supply or installation of their new water heater.

Owners who face difficulties in getting a prompt resolution are advised to contact Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure or their state or territory’s gas regulator, or submit the ACCC on-line report.

Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure has issued a recall notice for Suburban dual fuel water heaters in the month of November 2019, because of the risk of death.

With an estimated 18,139 heaters sold through these retailers across the country, mostly were fitted in motorhomes and caravans. Some units were also installed on horse float campers.

There are 9600 recall units yet to be inspected. Of these, 1241 have been certified to be inspected, while 835 aren’t yet registered to be inspected.

The affected products are Suburban Recreational Vehicle Water Heaters that have models number SW6DEA, SW6DA, SW4DEA, SW4DA, SW4DECA, SW6DECA and SW6PA that are serialized between 181315552 to 193002648 (some serial numbers be ending with a ‘D’) and between 8183311827 to 8190201139.

They were produced in the period between April 4, 2018 until August 1, 2019.

The Office of the Technical Regulator (SA) is the regulator responsible for this product.

It is a part of the Gas Technical Regulators Committee, which consists of gas safety and technical regulators from across Australia and seeks to implement an approach that is consistent to enhance gas safety quality, measurement, and safety.

Full details on the recall can be found on the ACCC website here

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