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"Recall Alerts"


Published by:
Peter A. Lynch, Esq.
of Cozen O'Connor


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:      This weekly newsletter covers:

  1. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Thrifty Paper Co. Announce Recall of Electric Fans
  2. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Value City Announce Recall of Red Devil Gas Grills Sold at Value City and Schottenstein Stores
  3. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Viking Sewing Machines Inc. Announce Recall of Sewing Machines


Thrifty Paper Co. Inc., of Hempstead, NY, is voluntarily recalling about 26,000 electric fans. These electric fans have undersized wiring, use a power plug that is not polarized, overheat and have an improperly sized grill, all of which could cause electrocution, electric shock, fire, and finger entrapment hazards to consumers.

The recalled electric fans, which have the brand name "Top Choice" printed on the fan blade cover, were sold under seven different model names: SF16BU(BE), SF16BK, DF16BU(BE), DF18, FL18, and BSD-18066. The model name can be found on the motor housing. The DF18 and FL18 models have a label that reads, "Hi Velocity Top Choice Air Circulator," which is also located on the fan blade cover. The three-speed, four-position fans are either floor-mounted or table-top units. The fans were manufactured in China.

Discount and variety stores in the metropolitan New York area sold these electric fans from April 2000 through June 2002 for between $10 and $15.

Consumers should stop using these electric fans immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a full refund. Consumers can also return the fans to the firm for a full refund, by mailing the unit to: 110 West Graham Ave., Hempstead, N.Y., 11550. For more information, contact Thrifty Paper Co. toll-free at (888) 281-3281 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

The CPSC point of contact is Scott Wolfson, release number 03-005, (301) 504-0580 Ext. 1189. The notice issued by the CPSC can be viewed at


Value City Department Stores Inc./Schottenstein Stores, of Columbus, Ohio, is recalling about 10,800 Red Devil gas grills sold at Value City and Schottenstein stores.

The product's design allows consumers to light the grill at an air intake tube, instead of at the burner. Though the grill appears to function normally, gas inside the air intake tube ignites. The tube can reach temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit and present a burn hazard to consumers. In grills manufactured before August 1998, the heat produced by lighting the grill at the air intake tube damaged the plastic support piece, and caused the grill to fall to the ground. When it collapses, flames from the grill can burn nearby consumers and ignite surrounding combustibles.

There have been 44 reports of consumers suffering burns to legs, hands and fingers, including reports of some third degree burns, after the grills collapsed during use. More than 1,000 consumers returned their grills to the manufacturers because the grills collapsed. There has been one incident reported by Value City and Schottenstein Stores customers.

These red metal gas grills have a tripod stand. They have a logo on the label of the lid and grill base showing a devil cooking at a grill with the writing, "Red Devil." The lid also reads "The Portable Outdoor Kitchen." Components sold with the grill include a heat plate, an oversized skillet with handles, a table-safe serving trivet, and carrying totes.

Value City and Schottenstein stores sold these grills from about April 2000 through July 2002 for about $60. CPSC urges consumers to stop using these grills immediately. Consumers who purchased Red Devil gas grills from Value City or Schottenstein stores can return it to the store for a store credit. For more information, consumers can call Value City Customer Service at (888) 278-6370 anytime, or visit the firm's web site at

About 155,000 of these grills were manufactured by e4L Inc., of Encino, Calif., and, Quantum North America Inc., of Encino, Calif. Because the manufacturer is out of business, CPSC issued a warning about these grills in May 2002. Additional Red Devil gas grills were manufactured by Cadac, of Roodepoort, South Africa, but also are included in the recall.

CPSC sued e4L Inc. and Quantum North America Inc. to obtain a recall, and an administrative law judge granted CPSC a default judgment when these manufacturers failed to appear. The firms are liquidating their assets under bankruptcy law.

The Home Shopping Network (HSN), QVC, and Wal-Mart previously notified their customers about the hazard these grills pose, and provided a remedy. Since Quantum and e4L have declared bankruptcy, there is no remedy available for grills bought from retailers other than HSN, QVC, Wal-Mart, Value City and Schottenstein stores. Consumers who purchased their Red Devil Gas Grills from another retailer, should contact the retailer. If that retailer does not provide a refund, repair or replacement for the grill, consumers should contact CPSC at (800) 638-2772 anytime. Additionally, consumers who are aware of any incidents with these grills or who want additional information also should contact CPSC.

About 19,300 of these grills, sold directly by e4L, were recalled in July 1998 because the burners could disconnect from the burner pan. The firm received 21 reports of the burners on these grills disconnecting and one consumer suffered burns. Even if consumers participated in this previous recall program, they should stop using these grills since this warning addresses a different hazard.

The CPSC point of contact is Mark Ross, release number 03-006, (301) 504-0580 Ext. 1188. The notice issued by the CPSC can be viewed at


Viking Sewing Machines Inc., of Cleveland, Ohio, is voluntarily recalling about 11,000 Viking "Designer 1" sewing machines. Solder connections in the main power supply of the sewing machines can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Viking has received two reports of the sewing machine's power supply smoking and one report of a sewing machine catching fire. The fire was contained to the sewing machine. No injuries have been reported.

The recalled sewing machines were manufactured in 1999, and are white with the name "Designer 1" printed on the front of the machine. The serial numbers are written on the bottom of the machine. Only serial numbers that fall within the following ranges are included in the recall:

Serial numbers beginning with "7" and ending with "2'

Serial numbers beginning with "5" and ending with "3"

Serial numbers beginning with "4" and ending with "2"

Serial numbers beginning with "5" and ending with "0"

Serial numbers beginning with "6" and ending with "4"

Independent sewing machine dealers sold the recalled machines nationwide from January 1999 to January 2000 for between $5,500 and $6,000.

Consumers should return the recalled sewing machines to the place where purchased to receive a free replacement power supply component. For additional information, contact Viking at (800) 446-2333 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's web site at

The CPSC point of contact is Yolanda Mark Ross , release number 03-007, (301) 504-0580 Ext. 1188. The notice issued by the CPSC can be viewed at

DISCLAIMER: This column is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information contained in this update is general in nature. Individual situations of readers may not fit the general educational information described in the column. Readers are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney to evaluate individual situations and provide legal advice. Any reliance on the information contained herein is taken at the reader's own risk and should not be considered legal advice.

Mr. Lynch can be reached at Cozen and O'Connor, 501 West Broadway, Suite 1610, San Diego, California 92101, 800-782-3366 (voice), 619-234-7831 (fax), (e-mail), Follow us on Twitter at @firesandrain.

Please direct comments, suggestions, stories, and other items to the author by e-mail at

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