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LG, Sears Recall Gas Dryers

Washington – LG Electronics and Sears are voluntarily recalling about 21,000 gas dryers in the wake of 141 reported incidences of overheating.

The Korean-made dryers were sold under the LG and Kenmore Elite brands between Nov. 2009 and Aug. 2010, and carried retail prices of between $650 and $1,500. Three LG models and eight Kenmore Elite models are affected.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which announced the recall, the gas valve in the recalled dryers can fail to shut off properly, continuing to heat the dryers and their contents after the drying cycle is complete. High temperatures inside and on the exterior surface of the dryers can scorch the drum, as well as burn or damage the dryer contents, posing a risk of burn, fire and smoke inhalation, the CPSC said.

Three complaints of minor burns to hands or arms, and 50 reports of burnt or scorched clothing as a result of the continued heating were received.

LG and Sears are both offering customers free repairs to replace the units’ gas valves.

The alert follows a more extensive recall by GE earlier this month of about 1.3 million dishwashers that may pose a fire hazard due to an electrical failure in their heating elements.

Affected are 22 U.S. made models under the GE, GE Adora, GE Eterna, GE Profile and Hotpoint brands. The units were sold nationwide from March 2006 through Aug. 2009 for between $350 and $850.

No injuries were reported, but GE was notified of 15 dishwasher heating element failures including seven reports of fires, three of which caused extensive property damage. The company is offering either free home repairs or rebates of $75 and $100 toward the purchase of equivalent and step-up models.